Editors' Picks

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10006, USA


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Shrouded in a forest of trees, two one-acre square pools occupy the gaping and emotionally charged space where the Twin Towers once stood. The solemn monument, opened in 2011, features the name of the victims who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. The memorial is a peaceful, sanctuary-like space, intended to encourage reflection.

The National September 11 Museum opened in 2014, joining the memorial to form a personal, moving tribute to the lives lost in the terror attacks. The heart of the museum is, of course, the September 11 exhibit, which chronicles the fateful day in tremendous detail, most excruciatingly experienced through the audio distress calls. The Memorial exhibition is dedicated to the lives of the nearly 3,000 victims, whose portraits line the room; visitors can search through the images to learn more about each individual. The North and South galleries chronicle the day’s events and aftermath in each tower.

While the museum, which features over 23,000 images, 500 hours of video and 10,300 artifacts, could be explored for a long time, one can do a comprehensive tour of it in roughly two hours. Given the emotional material, it is important to take one’s time and not to put pressure on yourself to see everything; simply visiting the poignant museum is a profound experience, whether or not one makes it to each exhibit.

Note: Visitors must purchase timed tickets in advance. While entry is for a specific time, one should still be prepared to wait in line outside for up to 15 minutes.

Written by Emma Pierce

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