9/11 Memorial Museum to open in NY
A museum commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington is on the verge of opening, with wrenchingly familiar sights as well as artifacts never before on public display.
Among the first visitors to the National September 11 Memorial Museum are victims' family members and others intimately involved in its creation who will attend tomorrow, after a media preview today.
The doors open to the general public on May 21.
The museum's two main exhibition spaces, both underground, recall Sept. 11, 2001, when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center's twin towers, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.
An "In Memoriam" exhibition, on the footprint of the World Trade Center's South Tower, commemorates the lives of victims.
A historical exhibition, on the footprint of the North Tower, focuses on the attacks, what preceded them and what has happened since.
Some of the most moving displays are wrecked emergency vehicles, nearly 2,000 oral histories and poignant personal items that belonged to victims.
A large hall displays a so-called slurry, or retaining, wall that survived the attacks and a 36-foot column from the Trade Center site covered with mementoes, inscriptions and missing posters.
"It is incredible, and it will wind up affecting different people in different ways, depending on their experiences," said Joel Shapiro, whose wife Sareve Dukat died in the South Tower.
Shapiro said he plans to be a docent at the museum.
The museum is the result of eight years of work, with input from curators, educators, architects, preservationists, victims' family members, survivors, first responders, local residents, business owners and others.
It has been a key part of a complex and often contentious process of rebuilding the World Trade Center site that was reduced to the heaps of rubble and ash known as Ground Zero.