In memory of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and those who have worked so hard to design and build a fitting tribute, we are republishing this post about the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City.
We don’t know many New York City visitors who don’t have the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center on their must-do list. In fact, it’s at the top of many lists of places most people want to see — not because it’s a tourist attraction but because it fulfills this one desire we all have: to honor the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. And honor them it does.
The visitor brochure calls the 9/11 Memorial Museum a “a triumph of human dignity.” And even when you leave the subway to approach the plaza surrounding the museum, you get the sense that this is big. Really big. At first, you see construction at ground level — a new transit station, buildings being completed, cranes and yellow tape marking off places you can’t and should walk. But when you look up — and you will — you are rewarded with a spectacular view of steel and glass marvels of modern architecture.
Squarely inside the plaza, we moved toward where people were gathered around massive pools of water to read names of victims etched in the peripheral walls. And we weren’t the only ones talking in whispers.
We wondered how so many people in line could fit inside the museum. But we soon found out. Four floors provide vast, open exhibit space for artifacts, salvaged materials, and memorial photos. And we were amazed at how that space impacts visitors as they look upward and all around. You move at your own pace while taking long looks at the remains of a disaster that touched us all.
We stopped and stayed for a while in the space known as In Memoriam where visitors can stand or sit to view videos and listen to recordings by family members as they remember their loved ones.
Artists — from schoolchildren to the world-renowned Red Grooms — provided interpretations of the tragedies with tapestries, collages, canvases, quilts and more.
At the end of our tour, we stood silently as we viewed wreckage — raw, open, mangled metal forms — that once were serviceable vehicles and supportive beams turned by fire and the weight of collapsed buildings into twisted, almost unrecognizable forms.
You might think that we would leave depressed. And we were saddened by what we had seen. But this whole endeavor – the collecting, designing, displaying, and memorializing — contributed wholly to the mission stated in the visitor information: to “bear solemn witness” and to “honor the victims.” It does all that and so much more.
For more information:
The National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center, 180 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007; 911memorial.org
Recommended: Download the apps and guides: http://www.911memorial.org/apps prior to your visit.
Boomer Travel: Most of the Memorial Museum is easily accessible for all, but lines can be long. Also, be prepared to stand inside for entry into some of the popular areas. The Museum is wheelchair accessible with manual wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Audio Guide is VoiceOver compatible. Large print materials are available at the desk. Service dogs are welcome.
We’ve compiled our remembrances from a December 2015 trip to New York City under the Travel Series heading: Christmas Holiday 2015. Hope you’ll join us in reliving good times in the Big Apple! — Bert and Rusha