The Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

by M-Gillies

The Reflecting Absence Memorial's mission is to remember and honor the thousands of innocent men, women, and children murdered by terrorists in the horrific attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001.

“9/11 affected people across the country and around the world. This Memorial means something different for everyone, but I hope that in some way, it offers a chance for people to come together in the spirit of unity we all remember from the days and weeks after 9/11.” Joe Daniels, President and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Ten years ago, for 102 minutes the world watched in horror as two of New York City’s most iconic buildings collapsed after terrorists flew hijacked passenger planes into the Twin Towers. With the news of the attacks occupying every news channel and radio station, onlookers stopped in their tracks, frozen by the grisly sight of the thick black smoke pouring from both buildings before they collapsed into a rubble of mangled steel and boulders of concrete.

Not since the Oklahoma bombings has America been stricken by such a devastating tragedy, yet when the towers fell and the cloud of dust and smoke rolled through the surrounding area, September 11, 2001 became known as the darkest day in American history.

Looking at the site ten years ago would have sent shivers crawling down the spine of any onlooker. What once used to dominate the skyline and was the home of New York City’s most illustrious Twin Towers, was now a dilapidated block of debris.

Now, after five years of planning and construction, New Yorkers who walk the streets and tourists who have travelled from afar to visit the heart of New York City’s financial district will see an entirely new sight. With roughly 400 green oak trees surrounding two massive recessed pools situated in the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood, is now a memorial plaza commemorating the loss of lives and the impact that one perilous day had on not only one country, but the entire world.

With bronze panelled parapets edging the Memorial pools, nearly 3,000 names of men, women and children who died in both the 2001 and 1993 attacks have been inscribed to memorialize the loss of life resulting from these tragic events.

The arrangement of the victims’ names were placed corresponding to the flight and building where they had lost their lives. For victims of Tower 1 and of Flight 11, their names have been inscribed on the parapet located along the North Pool. The names of the victims of Tower 2, Flight 175, Flight 93 which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Flight 77 which struck the Pentagon and the victims at the Pentagon, the first responders, and those who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing would be listed on the South Pool parapet.

Beginning in 2003, an international design competition, initiated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), was held to select a design for a national memorial to remember and honor the legacy of the lives lost to the terrorist attacks. With over 5,000 entries from 63 nations and 49 US states, it was Michael Arad and Peter Walker’s Reflecting Absence design which was announced as the winning entry.

In partnership between the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, heavy construction began on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in August of 2006.

With the memorial plaza designed to act as a quiet place for meditative mourning and reflection, the memorial Museum will be located 70 feet below the memorial site. Accessed through an entry pavilion, the National September 11 Memorial Museum will act as an historical site honoring the 2,981 victims of both the 2001 and the 1993 attacks, recognizing all those who survived and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion throughout the aftermath.

The site also states that its mission will be “to attest to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity and affirm an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life.”

On display at the September 11 Memorial Museum will be a showcase of artifacts recovered from the site; the victims’ and survivors’ personal effects, which were either collected during the recovery effort after September 11, 2001 or donated by survivors and the families of victims.

To date, the September 11 Memorial and Museum will open September 11, 2011, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and will open to the public on September 12, 2011.

Read more:

National September 11 Memorial & Museum | World Trade Center Memorial

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