by BobP

The new 9/11 Memorial is an elegant and soothing tribute to victims of the disaster. It opened to the public on Sunday – the tenth anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack. About 7,000 people, mainly dignitaries and families of victims, were issued tickets for opening day.

The memorial occupies half of the 16-acre World Trade Center site. Twin reflecting pools, with cascading waterfalls are set within the one-acre footprints of the original twin towers. More than 400 swamp white oak trees are planned for the plaza (225 have been planted so far).

The memorial is 176 feet in perimeter. The waterfalls cascading down the four walls of each fountain are the largest such fountains in North America – 30 feet deep from street level. Each pool pumps 26,000 gallons of water per minute.

The 2,983 names of the victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993, World Trade Center truck bombing are inscribed into bronze parapets surrounding the twin memorial pools.

Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.

Public admission is free but requires reserving a ticket. To do so, register on:

Once a pass has been reserved, it should be printed and presented upon arrival. Only 1,500 people are allowed in at a time and some 400,000 have already reserved tickets for the coming months. The first availability we found at the time this blog was written was in late October. 

Security is tight – visitors must empty their pockets, walk through a metal detector and send their handbags and backpacks through an X-ray machine.

The museum portion of the memorial complex is still under construction. The museum pavilion, a tilting structure that evokes the sections of the trade centre facade that remained standing after the towers fell, is scheduled to open on the 11th anniversary of the attacks.

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