More than 47,000 reservations for the September 11 Memorial, were booked online within the first few days after the ticket website went live on Monday, July 11, basically selling out the passes available for the first week the Memorial is open to the public.
The Memorial Plaza, which will be open to the public for the first time on September 12, a day after the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks,is a national tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon.
The 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, in a ceremony for victims’ families. 9/11 Victims’ family members are invited to visit www.911memorial.org/information-911-family-members for information about their unique access provisions. Victims’ family members can sign up to receive updates (sign up to receive updates here).
The Memorial will open to the public on September 12, 2011, and will welcome visitors who have reserved the free advance passes, now available for reservation on www.911memorial.org.
Visitors must reserve advance passes for a specific date and time.
Once a pass has been reserved, it should be printed and presented upon arrival at the intersection of Albany and Greenwich Streets in Lower Manhattan.
The reservation system, used by other institutions with similar, limited capacities such as the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument, will help reduce potential wait times and ensure as many people as possible are able to visit. The reservation system is also necessary because construction will continue at the WTC site and along West Street, which is limiting visitor capacity on the Plaza in order to ensure that the visitor experience is safe and meaningful and that special consideration is given to family members who lost loved ones on that terrible day.
Some 1,500 people can be accommodated on the Plaza at any one time, and once inside, visitors can stay as long as they like, but it is anticipated that visits will be about a hour. That means that some 15,000 people can visit each day.
Millions of visitors are expected in the first year of operation.
Visitors holding advance pass reservations will enter the Memorial at a new 9/11 Memorial Welcome Site located at Albany and Greenwich Streets (1 Albany St.).
The 9/11 Memorial is working with the tour and travel industry to facilitate group visits. Group organizers will be able to make reservations by calling the dedicatedGroup Reservations line or through one of the 9/11 Memorial’s Transportation Partners.
The 9/11 Memorial is expected to be open daily throughout the year. Hours are subject to change based on seasons, but are basically 10 am to 8 pm. For current hours, visit 911memorial.org.
The Visitor Experience at the 9/11 Memorial
The names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 terrorist attacks will be inscribed on bronze panels lining the two pools. Waterfalls will cascade down all four sides of each pool, creating a special place for remembrance and reflection. The surrounding plaza will be filled with oak trees and a callery pear known as the Survivor Tree, which was nursed back to health after surviving the 9/11 attacks.
The entrance to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, a large pavilion with a glass atrium, houses two enormous tridents within its glass atrium. The tridents are artifacts from the steel façade of the original 1 WTC, also known as the North Tower. Although the pavilion will be inaccessible to 9/11 Memorial visitors, the majestic tridents will be visible from the plaza. The pavilion will open to the public when the 9/11 Memorial Museum opens in 2012.
The 2,982 names of the men, women, and children killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993, are inscribed into bronze parapets surrounding the 9/11 Memorial’s twin pools, set within the footprints of the original twin towers. The arrangement of names will be made available at 911memorial.org, through an interactive smart phone application and on kiosks at the plaza at the 9/11 Memorial in the spring of 2011.
The names of each section of the 9/11 Memorial follow the headings below:
Around the North Pool
World Trade Center: Those who were working in or visiting 1 WTC (North Tower) on 9/11
Flight 11: The crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 11
February 26, 1993: Those who were killed in the bombing of the WTC on February 26, 1993
Around the South Pool
World Trade Center: Those who were working in or visiting 2 WTC (South Tower) or other areas of the WTC complex on 9/11
Flight 175: The crew and passengers of United Airlines Flight 175
Pentagon: Those who were working in or were visiting the Pentagon on 9/11
Flight 77: The crew and passengers of American Airlines Flight 77
Flight 93: The crew and passengers of United Airlines Flight 93
First Responders: Those who received the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor awarded by the White House on September 9, 2005
Following each heading, the names are arranged so that those belonging to the same affiliation – for example, co-workers of the same company or the crew of each flight – are listed together. The next-of-kin of the victims and surviving colleagues have requested the names of specific individuals next to whom they would like their loved ones’ names inscribed. Some were with relatives, friends, and colleagues; others were with people they barely knew or had just met, but with whom intense bonds were quickly formed as a result of a shared response. Click here to learn more about the names arrangement.
The Survivor Tree
The callery pear tree, originally planted at the World Trade Center complex in the 1970s, became known as the Survivor Tree after sustaining extensive damage, but living through the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
It was discovered and freed from the piles of smoldering rubble in the plaza in October 2001. The damaged tree measured eight-feet tall when it arrived in November 2001 at the NYC Parks & Recreation Department’s Arthur Ross Nursery. It was nursed back to health and today has grown to a height of about 30 feet.
It was replanted at the Memorial in December 2010. It will continue to grow among dozens of swamp white oak trees that have been planted on the Memorial Plaza since August 2010.
The Memorial Plaza which is opening this year is an outdoor experience (keep in mind that no bathrooms are available on site).
Next year, 2012, the 9/11 Memorial Museum will open, which will house exhibits of artifacts salvaged from the attacks, including pieces of steel from the fallen Towers and damaged vehicles. “The museum will display monumental artifacts associated with 911, intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning, it will communicate some key messages to embrace both the specificity and universal events of 9/11,” explained Michael Frazier, communications officer. “It will communicate a historic perspective.”
The Memorial and Museum occupy half of the 16-acre WTC site.
When completed, the Memorial Plaza will consist of a six-acre green roof of almost 400 oak trees on top of a seven-story below-grade building and train station.
The Memorial Plaza will be one of the most sustainable green plazas ever built. The irrigation and stormwater harvesting systems are designed to insure sustainable treatment and conserve water, energy and material resources.
At the time of the opening, some necessary construction on the plaza will continue. Visitors will be able to stand at the heart of the WTC where the twin towers once stood and witness the historic rebuilding taking place around them. In particular, the northeast corner of the plaza will be under construction because of its close proximity to the concourse level of the stunning, new WTC Transportation Hub, which has a separate construction schedule. Four new towers are rising just beyond the northwest and southeast corners of the plaza.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation, Inc. began formal operations in the spring of 2005 and worked with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on the design and construction management plan. In the summer of 2006, the organization assumed responsibility for overseeing the design and working with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the construction manager on the project.
In the beginning of October 2006, the Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, became Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Following the election of the Mayor as Chairman, the Foundation named Joseph C. Daniels as President. Initially the Foundation’s General Counsel, Mr. Daniels served as Acting President for five months before accepting the permanent post in the fall of 2006.
The 9/11 Memorial is located at the site of the former World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, and occupies approximately half of the 16-acre site. The 9/11 Memorial features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the twin towers. Click here to learn about the design.
National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center
One Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10006
For general inquiries, email: email@example.com, for more information about visiting, www.911memorial.org/visit.
–Karen Rubin, National Eclectic Travel Examiner
© 2011 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit joltleft.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin, joltleft.com/eclectic-traveler-in-long-island/karen-rubin or www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com.
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