Victims of the World Trade Center terrorism attack will be remembered at a special ceremony on the 10th anniversary of the tragic event.
The long-awaited and much-debated National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center is set to open to the public on September 12, 2011, the day after the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that brought down the Twin Towers in 2001. The 9/11 Memorial will be officially dedicated in a special ceremony for victims’ families on Sunday, September 11, 2011 and is a remarkable tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks at the World Trade Center site and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.
Entry to the 9/11 Memorial is free but a reservation is required through 911memorial.org, which opened for online bookings on Monday. According to the president and chief executive of the 9/11 Memorial, Joe Daniels, more than 1 million visitors are expected between September and December. “There is a tremendous demand to see the memorial site from around the world,” says Daniels, who explains the Memorial Museum attests to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity and affirms an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life by demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at the local, national, and international levels.
Visitors will be allocated 45 minutes to see the memorial, a plaza that consists of two massive pools set within the original footprints of the Twin Towers. The twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in the North America. Bronze parapets inscribed with victims’ names ring the pools, which are surrounded by over 400 trees, including the Peace Tree, which was recovered from the rubble on the site and nursed back to health. Construction of the seven floor underground museum and perimeter buildings, including the tallest building in the US, which began in 2006, continues and is expected to open in time for the 11th anniversary in 2012 with costs climbing up to $700 million.
Israeli architect Michael Arad, not originally from New York, is the designer of the World Trade Center Memorial, entitled “Reflecting Absence.” Arad won the ground-zero memorial design competition in 2004 when he was just 34, beating out 5,201 other contestants and with the support of Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.
Once complete, the museum will house collections of diverse materials includes artifacts, photographs, audio and video tapes, personal effects and memorabilia, expressions of tribute and remembrance, recorded testimonies and digital files and websites related to the history of the World Trade Center, the events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993, and the repercussions of these seismic attacks. StoryCorps is just one of the museum’s moving tributes, which recounts stories about the victims by friends, family, neighbors and co-workers providing intimate perspectives on the life and character of each person lost in the tragedy.