Opening on September 12, 2011—10 years after the devastating terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C.—the 9/11 Memorial will open publicly at the World Trade Center Complex in honor of those who died in the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and in the plane crash near Shanksville, PA, as well the six individuals who died in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. The monument is designed by Michael Arad of Handel Architects with landscaping orchestrated by Peter Walker of Peter Walker and Partners. Reflecting the idea that the monument be one designed by the people for the people who perished in the attacks, a global competition ensued, with Arad and Walker building the design selected from over 5,200 entries from 63 different countries. The result is a monument fit to have the names of the victims and heroes of 9/11 forever etched into the bronze panels surrounding the two reflective pools of the Memorial.
From the top of the pools, waterfalls seep calmly down into still waters. These monumental pools are surrounded by approximately 400 swamp white oak trees that provide a green shelter in order to protect the delicate subject matter of the monument within its grounds. Yet these trees, planted in the area that was, not so long ago, filled with ash and debris from the Twin Towers, were planted as symbols of growth. Such symbolism reveals America’s promise to grow strong and tall once gain from the ashes of the 9/11 attacks.
The accompanying 9/11 Museum documents the tragic event that occurred of that historic day. Upon entrance, visitors pass the original steel tridents of the Twin Towers safely displayed within the glass of the surrounding pavilion before descending towards bedrock, the archeological center of the World Trade Center. At the base site, visitors view the “Survivor Stairs” that allowed so many, but not enough, to flee the buildings before the collapse. Both eerie and magnificent, the museum allows for a transcendental experience and a greater understanding of the devastation that occurred on 9/11 while honoring the people who perished. — Nicole Ellul
If you can’t make it to Lower Manhattan, the Memorial and Museum offers a live webcam feed of the Memorial and the surrounding reconstruction.
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
World Trade Center
20 Vesey Street
New York, NY 10007-2913
+1 (212) 312-8800
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image: South Memorial Pool Vista-Created by Squared Design Lab via National September 11 Memorial & Museum