Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Open the 9/11 Memorial: The Visit (Part 1)

One of the twin reflecting pools. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The Memorial Plaza (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
After much delay the 9/11 Memorial finally opened last fall. The events of 2001 was over a decade ago but still remains in the memory like it was yesterday. Visiting the sparkling new memorial rekindles the feeling of sadness and awe. A place to ponder and reflect on our past, present and future in this world but more importantly to commemorate the survivors and those who perished on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993.

This is my visit to the 9/11 Memorial. There are three main elements at the memorial at this time: the dramatic twin reflecting pools; the plaza; and the One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower). Other buildings rise at the site but One World Trade Center dominates the complex at over 1,700 feet. The photos from my visit are separated into two posts. Click HERE for Part 2.

Map of the 9/11 Memorial Site. Click the diagram to view a larger version.
I booked my tickets online a week before my visit. The passes are free and printed online showing the name of the visitor and specific entry date and time. There is talk at some point about assessing an admission or service fee at some point in the future. Click HERE for passes.

Note that visitors are asked to show a valid photo ID matching the visitor pass name. The memorial entrance is located at the corner of Albany and Greenwich Streets. All visitors and baggage are subject to security screening. Visit for more information. Hours: daily 10am-8pm; last entry at 7pm. Note that closing hours will vary according to the season. The 9/11 Museum is still under construction with an opening date still to be announced.

As the 9/11 Memorial is still under construction, a temporary fence
directs visitors to the entrance. When the World Trade Center is fully
rebuilt, there will be entrances on all sides. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Despite the timed passes, expect lines and a lengthy walk around part of
the memorial and then through security. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The lines move quickly with the only slow down at the security. Like going
through an airport all metal is removed from pockets. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Be sure you have your passes in hand and arrive at the correct time shown
on your pass. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)

COMMEMORATIVE GUIDES (click HERE for the online version of the guide)
Download the commemorative 9/11 Memorial guide for those who have
booked their passes online; or pick one up after passing through security.
The guides are available in English, Chinese, French, German, Italian,
Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)

(Click HERE to find a name on the Memorial)

A sign helps guides visitors to names at the memorial.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Most visitors converge at the South Pool which is nearest to the plaza
entrance. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The memorial opened on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler) 
The memorial consists of two pools set in the footprints of the original
Twin Towers. It's a consuming feeling of sight, sound and touch.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Thirty-foot waterfalls, the largest in North America, cascade into the
pools, each then descending into a center void. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets around the pools.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The arrangement of the names is based on where the victims were on 9/11.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Pictures cannot capture the immense dimensions of each reflecting pool.
The victims commemorated as visitors walk around each
pool's perimeter. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The memorial design was selected through an international competition
that received over 5,000 submissions from 63 countries.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler) 
Along the perimeter of the South Pool are names of victims from: First
Responders, World Trade Center South,  Flight 93, Flight 77, Pentagon,
and Flight 175.
The North Pool: World Trade Center North, Flight 11
and 6 victims of attack on February 26, 1993. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The sun's reflection glimmers on the bronze parapet of the North Pool.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler) 
The pool's waterfall begin from reservoirs located beneath the bronze
parapets. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler) 
The bulk of the visitors converge on the South Pool since it is located
closest to the current memorial entrance. The crowds spread out around the
North Pool. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler).
The North Pool. Behind it is One World Trade Center.
  (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
At the northwest tip of the North Pool one can see the pavilion that
will house the 9/11 Museum. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
The open park-like portion of the plaza presently holds trees mostly
along memorial's west side. Ultimately trees will surround the entire memorial.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler) 
One of the massive voids at the center of each reflecting pool.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Seeing people on an opposite of the South Pool gives scale to the
size of the reflecting pool. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Some visitors bring etching materials for a bronze rubbing of a victim's name.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
Visitors looking for a specific name should visit
for the exact location before arriving at the memorial. (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)
 Construction continues on the rebuilding of the World
Trade Center buildings around the memorial . (photo: TheHopefulTraveler)

See the next post for Part 2 and more photos or click HERE.


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