The Ground Zero Memorial

The Ground Zero Memorial will be officially dedicated on Sunday, September 11, 2011.  This date marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a day that changed our nation in many ways.  The dedication on the 11th includes a special ceremony for the victims’ families.  The memorial will officially open to the public the following day.

The memorial has been in the works for a number of years.  Those involved in creating it wanted to make certain the memorial was a fitting testament to all that had happened on that day in 2001.  It fills half of the 16-acre site that was home to the World Trade Center complex.  The memorial was designed by architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker, who won the international design competition that was held in 2003.

A pavilion featuring a glass atrium and two large steel tridents recovered from the North Tower serves as the entrance to the area.  The main section of the memorial is made up of two pools.  They are lined with bronze panels that feature the names of the victims of the terrorist attacks of both September 11, 2001, and the bombing that occurred on February 26, 1993.  There are almost 3,000 names featured, and they include those who worked at the World Trade Cetner, the crews and passengers of the flights, and those who lost their lives in the Pentagon attack.

Waterfalls flow down all four sides of the pools.  A lush green area featuring oak trees surround the pools.  The Survivor Tree, a callery pear tree that was nursed back to health, stands in a place of honor.  More than 400 trees are being planted in the plaza.  A special clearing called the Memorial Glade has been set aside for gatherings and special ceremonies.

In addition to the memorial, the 9/11 museum will also be opening in September.  The Memorial Museum’s mission is to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks.  The exhibits will include photographs, video and audio tapes, personal items, memorabilia, recorded testimonies, and other items relating to the history of the World Trade Center and the events of 9/11.  Some of the items on display include children’s’ art from the fences built around the site and the artwork and other items sent to the firefighters, police officers, and others who strove to save lives during the disaster.

The following video from CBS News includes a first look at the memorial’s reflecting pools and waterfalls:

September 11 will forever be a difficult day for those who lost family members and friends in 2001.  If you are one of those people, our thoughts and prayers are with you.  If you know someone who will be remembering a loss, take a moment out of your busy day to be with them or in some way reach out to them.  They may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.

A number of news stories and specials will be broadcast in the following weeks covering the events of September 11, 2001, and the opening of the memorial.  Below is a list of these specials.   You can also learn more about the 9/11 Memorial, find visiting times, and learn how to get involved at the official website at 911Memorial.org.

September 5-11
Times TBD: America Remembers: 9/11, New York Philharmonic 10th Anniversary Concert for 9/11, Engineering Ground Zero, Frontline 9/11 special (PBS)

Friday, September 9
9:00 p.m. 9/11: The Days After (History)

Saturday, September 10
9:00 p.m. Voices From Inside the Towers (History)

Sunday, September 11
8:46 a.m. 102 Minutes That Changed America (History)
8:00 p.m. Making the 9/11 Memorial (History)
8:00 p.m. 9/11: 10 Years Later (CBS)
9:00 p.m. 20/20: 9/11 Anniversary (ABC)
9:00 p.m. The Space Between (USA)
10:21 p.m. Twin Towers (USA)

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