9/11 Memorial & Museum - NYC
The National 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011. The dedication took place on the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The ceremony was held at Ground Zero for the victims’ family members. The Memorial opened to the public one day later, on September 12th. The Memorial sits at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks. The Memorial and Museum are located at 180 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan.
Memorial Plaza and Twin Memorial Pools
The Memorial Plaza is one of the most sustainable green plazas ever built. The eight-acre park features over 400 oak trees surrounding the twin Memorial Pools. Names of those killed in the North Tower, on hijacked Flight 11, and in the 1993 bombing are inscribed in bronze on the low wall surrounding the North Memorial Pool to the left of the museum (near the entrance). The South Pool on the right side of the museum (by the exit) is dedicated to the firefighters, police, first responders, as well as victims who were killed in the South Tower, on hijacked Flight 175, at the Pentagon, on hijacked Flight 77, and on hijacked Flight 93.
The tranquil Memorial Pools and cascading waters are stunning. They contain the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. Each of the falls drop 30 feet into a square basin and from there, the water drops another 20 feet, disappearing into a smaller square void. Architect Michael Arad describes the pools as representing “absence made visible.” Water flows into the voids but can never be filled.
The Memorial is open daily. Admission to Memorial Plaza is free to the public.
National 9/11 Memorial Museum
President Obama dedicated The National 9/11 Memorial Museum on May 15, 2014. It officially opened to the public on May 21, 2014. The museum was built around the Survivor Stairs from the South Tower of the World Trade Center. The interactive Memorial Museum honors the 2,982 people who lost their lives on 9/11/2001 and in the 2/26/1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Upon entering the museum, voices can be heard from Americans around the country echoing where they were on September 11, 2001. Stand in the footprints of New York’s two mighty towers in this sacred place of healing and hope. See over 70,000 artifacts, pictures, and videos of victims, survivors and responders during that fateful day.
The Museum is open Thursday-Monday from 10am-5pm. Last entry is at 3:30pm. The museum also offers an Early Access Museum Tour (before it opens to the public) at 9am-10am.
Tickets are required for Museum admission. We recommend buying your tickets in advance (timed ticket entry) so you can ensure you get the day and time you want and avoid waiting in long lines. Walk-in tickets are available but be prepared to wait in line. Plan on spending at least two hours in the Museum. Don’t miss the 25-minute movie in the museum’s auditorium (located upstairs).
Historical Exhibition – Events of the Day; Before 9/11 and After 9/11
During our visit, the most crowded part of the museum was in the Historical Exhibition. It’s made up of three parts: the Events of the Day; Before 9/11 and After 9/11.
One of the most haunting sections of the museum was the Memorial Exhibition, honoring the victims of both 9/11 and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Portrait photos of those who perished fill the floor-to-ceiling walls of the gallery.
A severely damaged pear tree was discovered at Ground Zero in October 2001. It was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to nurse it back to health. After its recovery, the tree was returned to the Memorial Plaza in 2010.
Located by the Memorial’s South Pool
The pear tree is located by the Memorial’s South Pool (closest to the museum’s exit). Aptly named, the resilient Survivor Tree has thrived. Today it stands as a living reminder of survival and rebirth.
Queen Elizabeth II Garden at Hanover Square
The Queen Elizabeth II Garden is a memorial for British and Commonwealth victims of the 9/11 attacks. Prince Harry took part in the official naming ceremony, honoring the 67 British victims of the terrorist attack. He planted a tree (magnolia bush) at the garden during his Royal visit in May 2009. It was dedicated in 2005 by Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The park received it’s “royal opening” with a ribbon-cutting from Queen Elizabeth during her whirlwind visit to New York on July 6, 2010. The memorial garden is located in Hanover Square, in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District.
More Info & Tickets
During peak Summer season, Museum admission tickets are likely to sell out and you may have to wait in long lines, so be sure to book well in advance of your visit.