Ground Zero - World Trade Center, New York City
I just wanted to post this re my visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum today as it has opened to the public. I thought it may answer some questions that may or may not be 100% clear on the website.
-My scheduled time slot was 11:00am. I arrived at appr 10:30 and was let in at about 10:35. So just like the Memorial, it looks as if they will let you in early based on how many people are already inside.
-I heard/saw a few people walk up to the ticket booth right outside while I was on line. I heard the attendant say that the earliest scheduled slot available was for 3:00pm. So same day tickets are possible, but I would recommend booking in advance. I would also not count on same day tickets.
-Security was airport style(metal detector/jackets, bags & belts/etc in the bin.) I did not have to take my shoes off. That process took appr 3 minutes. But be prepared for longer lines.
-The entire facility is equipped with elevator and escalators. Ramps are also throughout the building so you do not need to use the stairs. It is fully wheelchair accessible and manual ones are available onsite(at the coat check-first come, first served.)
-There is a small cafe inside(Pavilion Cafe.) I didn't purchase anything from there but I am guessing that they have water/coffee. Outside food and beverage is not permitted.
-DSLR cameras are allowed inside. I didn't notice anyone with a "pro style" setup. The limitation is that there is no photography allowed inside the September 11, 2001 Historical Exhibition which in inside/part of the Museum.
-There is a coat check/"bag" check. I don't think this means that they want you to do a load of shopping and then leave the bags there while you visit the Museum. This looks like it is for knapsacks, etc. The coat/bag check is inside after you go through security.
-There are bathrooms throughout the facility. You must have a ticket to go inside and utilize the bathrooms. There are still no bathrooms on the grounds of the 9/11 Memorial.
However, there is a Burger King down the block on Trinity/Liberty and Century 21 is also right next to the Memorial.
-There are first aid technicians also within the Museum.
-There is an auditorium where a film is shown(appr 15 minutes.) I had on a jacket, but note that the air conditioner was on HIGH in that area.
I recommend the film.
-There are audio tours available. You can arrange this via the welcome desk inside. Tours can only be provided by Museum staff.
-The use of cellphones is prohibited. Touching of any of the artifacts is prohibited. Proper decorum should be followed.
-There is no "dress code"..but proper decorum is recommended.
-There is a gift shop. I won't really comment on that.
I won't attempt to give my feedback re the Museum except to say that it was VERY moving and emotional for me. I also won't attempt to say how long one should spend at the Museum. I left after about 3 1/2 hours. I also didn't bring my camera and only took 1 picture with my phone.
My visit was sponsored by Conde Nast, the NYC based publishing company and one of the tenants that will move into One World Trade when complete.
If the Ellis island and Liberty Island were a little disapointment (for the price), this place was the opposite. I did not actually know what I did expect, even though I had seen the photos, but somehow for me this place was breathtaking beautyful. And I had even heard some people saying, it is not worth of visiting.
And when we were here, all the things we saw at tv 12 years ago came so real in mind. It didn´t feel like so unreal, as in tv news. I´m reallu glad we came here.
Coming here was a little bit.. strange. The ticket is free, but they hope you to donate for example 5 dollars (as everyone I saw did, and so did us). But after getting this ticket (witch could have been free) we nneded to show it to staff 5 times! I would have understand, if it would have cost a lot, but now it was free, so why would anyone not have it?
Between those 5 ticket checking there was also a airport style security check. You need to take your shoes of and go through security gate, put your coins and everything on x-ray line etc. Somehow I undesratnd that, but it felt a liitle over secure. But anyway, it was worth it. And since we were there at march, it was not as crowded as it might have been at top season time.
You don´t see the movement of the continously running water from the photos, but it really runs all the time and it´s beautyful.
We saw a man running his fingers through one name at the border, and making cros mark. It made it all even more real. Couldn´t help thinking, if it was his father, brother, friend..
After the disaster of September 11th 2001 the city of New York decided the best response to losing the World Trade Center was to rebuild it. Instead of simply replacing the twin towers they decided to rebuild the entire complex, made up of six towers (replacing some of the seven buildings lost or damaged in the attacks) a major transportation hub, a memorial and a museum.
The centre-piece of the complex is One World Trade Center. This building, once dubbed "the Freedom Tower", is by far the tallest of the seven. It's height is 1,776 feet (546 meters), matching the year of American independence. It's now the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, beating out anything except for the Burj Dubai and the new Makkah tower in Saudi Arabia.
Some towers are already finished, including One World Trade Center, but the work will continue for years yet on the entire project.
The reflecting pools are at the sites of the two World Trade Center towers. The wall surrounding has the names of those who died in each tower in addition to others who died on that horrible day. We were disappointed that the museum wasn't yet open but still a very powerful experience.
For those who have a special interest in the World Trade Center attacks, this can be an emotional place. For me, it's a nice park that will someday be accessible to the entire city. Because of the lack of access, the city has many security controls to insure that we are safe when visiting. It just takes a while to get in. Even though it's free.
"Here come the planes.
They're American planes. Made in America.
Smoking or non-smoking?"
O Superman - Laurie Anderson
One World Trade Center (aka Freedom Tower), is visible from all over New York City. The steel and glass skyscraper has the symbolic height of 1776 feet, and is one of seven buildings replacing the original complex which was largely destroyed in by the terrorist attacks of September 2001.
Around the site, the new glass towers are rising ever higher, and the steel bones of the Santiago Calatrava designed transportation hub are visible through the wire fences.
We find the memorial entrance, and enter the memorial site via the rather desultory entry pass and security check.
The memorial consists of 2 pools into which water falls continuously, surrounded by a wide plaza which is populated by many swamp oaks. The walls of the pools are in large black granite blocks, and they occupy the footprints of the towers that once stood there. Around each pool, inscribed in laser cut brass, are the names of the 2753 victims of the destruction of the buildings. Between the two pools, and still under construction, stands a museum, which for us will have to wait for another day, though through its glass walls we can see the tridents of rusted steel which once made up the facade of the vanished towers. Around each of the pools, people stand in the waning sunlight, as cool breezes waft mists of water from the deep pits into which the waterfalls flow. Thinking and reflection. Ani Di Franco wrote about that day, and I can hear the words of her stream of consciousness rap 'Self Evident' as I stare at the flowing waters and feel the weight of the tragedy that so many saw live on TV.
Saturday May 4, 2013
A memorial to the men, women and children who perished in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the 9/11 MEMORIAL occupies 8 of the 16 acres at the World Trade Center Site.
The Site includes the Forest of Trees, with two square pools (with the largest man made waterfalls in the U.S.) in the center where the Twin Towers once stood.
The Memorial officially opened to the public on September 12, 2011 - Ten years after the attack.
Names of the nearly 3,000 victims are inscribed on 76 Bronze Plates attached to the walls of the pools. The names are arranged in groups such as: Victims who were in the North Tower - Victims who were in the South Tower - First Responders who died during rescue operations - Passengers and crew of American Airlines Flight 11 - Passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175.
The sound of the water falling makes the site so peaceful and serene. Visitors were most respectful. For me, I felt sad and couldn't help remembering that fateful day when our lives really changed forever. The legacy of what happened that day will always be with us, especially in increased security just about wherever we go.
In the Forest of Trees, there are almost 400 sweet gum and swamp white oak trees. One very special tree is the "SURVIVOR TREE" which is a callery pear that survived the devastation and was preserved for re-planting. It was recovered from the rubble. At the time of its recovery, it was 8 feet tall, badly burned and it had only one living branch and was not expected to survive. It was nursed back to health and re-planted and now is a symbol of hope and rebirth,
Free Visitor Passes to the 9/11 Memorial are available using a timed reservation system which can be made online. A $2.00 processing Fee will be charged for each pass.
The 9/11 Memorial opened on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. It consists of two pools where the towers stood. The 9/11 attacks killed 2,977 people from over 90 nations. The oldest was 85 and youngest 2; 441 first responders were killed at the site. Had the attacks occurred during business hours 35,000 people from 430 companies along with commuters and tourists could have been jeopardized.
Thirty-five foot waterfalls cascade into the pools each descending into a void. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze around the pools. The North pool contains 1470 names of people that perished in the North tower and 87 victim names from flight 11 which struck. The South tower contains the names of 695 people from the South Tower, as well as the first responders, Pentagon victims and those that died in flights 91, 77 and 175. Michael Arad was the designer.
Our photo's are from April, 2013. Upon exiting there is a large and reasonably priced gift shop with shirts, memorabilia, key chains, books, videos ...
Those who had once seen the World Trade Center (and many that didn't), can't go to New York City today, without passing by the place, to see what is being done.
Cured the traumas, the American are working hard (as usual) and the curiosity about what will come is too strong.
However... it will take time.
Out of extreme pain and hurt a new Symbol of NYC and the United States is rising .... One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan ..... it's up to 102 floors right now .... it's set to have 110 floors so it's almost done ..... the Glass facade is up to the 75th floor ...... 1,000's of people are on the job site 24 hours a day. Once open NYC will again have the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere .....
This building represents the power of the people of NYC and the power of people of The United States ... we were dropped to our knees but we as a country we got up and showed the world why we are the Land of the Free and Home of the BRAVE !!!!!!!!!!
The place where on a beautiful September day the world changed forever for us American's is a extremely humbling place to visit. First of all you MUST have a ticket .... you can get them on the website. The entrance fee is free but donations are strongly encouraged ..... Once at the site you must enter thru security, and for a change the security is taken seriously ... you go thru a airport style machine and every item you have on is checked. A block and a half walk leads you into the fountain areas where the names of all the innocent victims taken that awful day are inscribed into the facade overlooking the fountains.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND .... THIS IS NOT A TOURIST SITE WHERE YOU POSE FOR PHOTOS ...... This is the resting place of 3,000 human souls taken away .........
You take photos to show your friends or people that can't make it here what the site looks like now .... you take photos of the names to remind you that it was a person who once walked the earth ..... BUT THIS NOT A PLACE TO TAKE GROUP PHOTO'S or TO BE LOUD or to run around like an IDIOT !!!!!!!!!!!
IT IS A PLACE OF REMEMBRANCE .... A PLACE TO EDUCATE FUTURE GENERATIONS so this won't EVER happen AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's a place where it's hard to hold back tears ......... SILENCE is preferred here .......
2 fountains represents the North and South Towers that once stood here ...between both fountains there is a museum that is set to open soon ......... also this is as close as you can get to see One World Trade Center the new building going up ......
This is the visit I most wanted to make during my recent trip to New York. I have made several trips to NY since the events of 9/11 - the first on 9/27/11 for the birth of my youngest niece. But on each of those visits, I could not bring myself to visit the site of the Twin Towers. Even now, I am overwhelmed by the loss, and the heroism, and the senselessness, and the courage shown on that day. I didn't want to see a "scar", or a void. I wasn't ready yet.
I'm glad I waited for this memorial. It is exquisitely well done - the reflecting ponds on the footprint of each tower, bordered with the names of those who were lost that day in the Towers, at the Pentagon, and in a field in Pennsylvania. It is peaceful now, and you know you are walking on hallowed ground. The running water in the pool made a rainbow, and there was a sense of healing.
It's very hard to explain the emotions associated with the site, but I highly recommend a visit. You must have a timed admission ticket - they are available for free at the website below. Arrive ~15 minutes early, as you must go thru airport-like security to get in. Once inside, you may stay as long as you like. There are kiosks which can tell you how to locate a certain name.
When I knew I was going to go to NYC, the first thing I looked into was going to the 9/11 Memorial. I felt I needed to see the site, and pay my respects to those who lost their lives that day. I jumped on the website, and secured my reservation. I got into line about 20 minutes before my reservation time, and by the time we made it to the security checkpoint, it was almost the time on my ticket. Security is like the airport - removing belts, etc. as you go through the metal detectors. You pass one last checkpoint before entering the actual memorial.
The memorial is breathtaking. There are two gigantic black waterfalls that mark where the towers stood. Along the edge of the waterfalls, the names of all those in the tower and those who were responders who lost their lives. Young trees have been planted throughout the plaza, and when they grow, I think they will add a phenomenal aesthetic to the memorial. A pavilion is also under construction.
What I found most striking is how quiet the memorial is. People talked, but in quiet tones. It's a powerful place.
I highly recommend visiting. Please visit the website to learn how to reserve a time to visit.
One of the most sombering experiences in New York is visiting Gorund Zero. They are currently builidng a new skyscraper on the site of the old World Trade Center as a tribute. Be very respectfulwhen visiting the site as it is not a tourist location but a commemarative site so remeber that at all times but it is a great way to show respect forthose thta lsot their live on 9/11
The Tribute WTC 9/11 Gallery offers walking tours around the perimeter of the WTC construction site. While they don't go anywhere that you couldn't walk on your own, what you do get is a tour guide who has a personal connection to the events of 9/11 and a story to tell. They can also point things out, which is useful as the WTC site is essentially just a big hole in the ground with lots of construction equipment around it.
It's kind of hard to hear them because it's an working construction site, but, once you get indoors, you can relax and listen to their stories.
Is it worth the $10? I would say maybe, maybe not. I found the galleries themselves to be much more powerful. My other gripe with the tour was that it was too long; they say allot 75 minutes, but ours took over an hour and a half - which is a long time to look at a construction site.
But, do as you will... you will definitely learn something about 9/11 that you didn't know, and, at the very least, you should definitely check out the galleries and St. Paul's Cathedral. The Walking Tour costs $10 and lets you in the galleries, and the galleries alone is a suggested $10 admission, so it's not really a question of money. If you've got lots of time, I'd say do it.