Following our visits to Liberty and Ellis Island we came back to the tip of lower Manhattan to visit the 9/11 Memorial.

Before leaving for our trip I had booked our visitors passes at the 9/11 website. Admission is free to the 9/11 Memorial, but passes are required. (I see a $2.00 service fee is now charged for passes booked through the website or via the telephone; this was not the case when I booked our passes in September, 2012.) There are also passes for same-day visits on a first-come, first-serve basis. These passes are not subject to a service fee, and must be obtained in person at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site at 20 Vesey St.

A view of 1 World Trade Center from the visitor's entrance...

After showing our visitor's passes we zigzagged in line back and forth, turned right around the corner of the construction zone, turned left around another corner of the construction zone and finally turned right again into the memorial site.

You can see this while zigzagging through the line...

The memorial was designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker.  Their design was chosen from an international competition of over 5,200 applicants from 63 countries.

The memorial, opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, consists of two pools set where the twin towers originally stood. 30-foot waterfalls (the largest in North America) cascade into the pools which descend into a center poolInscribed around the edges of the pools are the names of all who died on September 11: here, the Pentagon, the airplane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania plus the six victims of the February 26, 1993 bombing.

The North Pool...see part of a victim's name.

The South Pool.  The Memorial Museum is the silver building on the left. The building under construction in the background is 3 World Trade Center.

The photo below gives a better view of the Memorial Museum and you can see how the victim's names are inscribed on the edges of the poolsThe museum was supposed to open on September 11, 2012, but disagreements surrounding the project’s financing caused construction delays.  I have read where it will hopefully open on September 11, 2013.

The Survivor Tree is a pear tree that was planted in the original World Trade Center plaza in the 1970s. It stood at the eastern edge of the plaza near Church Street. After the terrorist attacks, workers found the damaged tree, reduced to an 8-foot-tall stump, in the wreckage. The tree was nursed back to health in a New York City park and grew to be over 30 feet tall, sprouting new branches and flowering in the Spring. In March 2010, the tree was uprooted during a thunderstorm, but true to its name, it survived.

In December, 2010, the Survivor Tree was returned to the World Trade Center site. Just another chapter in the story of survival and resilience that is so important in the history of America.

Visit the 9/11 Memorial website here to learn more.

All photos in this post were taken by me during my trip to New York City in September, 2012.

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