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National September 11 Memorial Museum opens to public

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Photos by Jin Lee & Joe Woolhead

The National September 11 Memorial Museum (9/11 Memorial Museum) today opened its doors to the world after a ceremonial transfer of The National 9/11 Flag into the Museum’s permanent collection.

 The public opening comes days after President Barack Obama and 9/11 Memorial Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg addressed 9/11 families, rescue and recovery workers, survivors and others in attendance at a May 15 dedication ceremony. The ceremony also included remarks by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former New Jersey Gov.

Donald DiFrancesco, as well as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended. 

To mark today’s public opening, the volunteer nonprofit organization New York Says Thank You Foundation transferred The National 9/11 Flag into the Museum’s collection after restoring it to its original glory in “stitching ceremonies” held across the country over the past several years. The flag was recovered in tatters from Ground Zero.    

 Under the management of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial, the primary builder of the 9/11 Memorial Museum was Lend Lease Americas. The company also constructed the 9/11 Memorial, which opened on the 10-year anniversary of September 11.

A display showing the impact of the the building's steel columns.
A display showing the impact of the the building’s steel columns.


“As the world turns its attention to the National September 11 Memorial Museum, we at Lend Lease take great pride in the monumental accomplishment of completing this nationally significant project,” said Bob McNamara, CEO of Lend Lease Americas.

“We are thankful to our project team, who overcame many challenges to complete this project. The remarkable talents and unwavering dedication of these of men and women of Lend Lease have created a place of remembrance of the nearly 3,000 victims and all those who risked their lives to save others. It further recognizes the thousands who survived and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion after the events of that tragic day.”

The Museum’s exhibitions are located at bedrock of the historic World Trade Center complex. A memorial exhibition called “In Memoriam” pays tribute to the 2,983 men, women and children killed on 9/11 and in the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about those killed through biographies and profiles, portraits, spoken remembrances and mementoes contributed by their loved ones. The three-part historical exhibition tells the story of what happened on 9/11 at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and on board Flight 93. It also explores what led up to the attacks, examines the aftermath and shows how 9/11 continues to shape our world.

Tickets to the Museum are currently available at Tickets for opening day, which are free through the sponsorship of Condé Nast, are sold out. There are various discounts available and admission is free every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 9/11 family members do not have to pay an admission to visit the Museum. 9/11 rescue and recovery workers who are registered with the Memorial may also visit for free.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened today.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened today.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, fundraising, programming and operations of the Memorial and Museum. The Memorial and Museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site.

The Memorial remembers and honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees. The Museum displays monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 and 1993 attacks and the aftermath. It also explores the global impact of 9/11 and its continuing significance. Davis Brody Bond are the architects of the belowground Museum and Snøhetta designed its entry pavilion. The Museum’s exhibition designers include Thinc, Local Projects and Layman Design.

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