The World Trade Center Cross
Just days after the towers’ collapse, recovery workers discovered a 17 ft tall intersecting beam among the wreckage of Ground Zero that unmistakably resembled a Christian cross.
This cross was installed here on the side of St. Peter’s Church as a temporary holding spot before being transferred to the National September 11th Museum.
This transfer was not without controversy, as a national Atheists Association opposed the use of government funds to accommodate the transfer, but they lost.
The court ruled that the cross did not violate constitutional restrictions on church and state.
The current cross was installed in 2011 and was designed by Jon Krawczyk. Its polish is intended to reflect the sky, crowds, and the emerging World Trade Center.
The new cross is filled with notes, letters, and other symbols of loss.
The image on the left – By James Tourtellotte, U.S. Customs and Border Protection , via Wikimedia Commons.
What Is The 9/11 Memorial And Museum
The 9/11 Memorial commemorates and remembers the lives lost on September 11th, 2001 and the Memorial Museum educates future generations about what unfolded on 9/11. Also remembered here is the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, another terrorist attack when a truck bomb was detonated in the parking garage of the North Tower. Six people were killed, although the intent of the terrorist attack was to bomb the North Tower so it would fall down to hit the South Tower.
New York City opened the 9/11 Memorial to the public in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The memorial is made up of two sunken pools made in the exact footprint where each of the North and South Twin Towers used to stand. Waterfalls stream down from the bronze walls of the pool, which are inscribed with the names of each of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. In the heart of bustling Lower Manhattan, the spacious public memorial is both powerful and peaceful.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum opened in 2014. It remembers the victims of the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in both 2001 and 1993 and commemorates the heroic acts performed during these times of tragedy. The 110,000 square feet of displays are mostly underground, at the base of the 9/11 Memorial waterfalls.
Where Else To Go
While you’re in New York City, there are a couple of other places you won’t want to miss.
To take your experience to the next level, purchase your 9/11 Memorial & Museum tickets along with tickets for the Lower Manhattan Guided Tour. Then, explore Ground Zero and other sites throughout the city, such as Wall Street and Trinity Church. Your guide will give you insider information to bring historical events to life.
After your tour, One World Observatory offers unbeatable views of the Big Apple from a new perspective. This interactive experience is located at the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Trade Center, on floors 100, 101, and 102.
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/11 Memorial & Museum: Tips You Should Know Before Your Visit
As you arrive at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum area, the first things youll notice are the massive reflection pools with their cascades of water dropping below street level.
These reflection pools sit on both sides of the 9/11 Museum and occupy the exact footprints of the North and South Towers. Engraved in the black stone along the perimeter of the pools are the names of the victims.
As you walk through the grounds of the 9/11 Memorial area, notice the Callery Pear tree, different from all the other trees that have been planted as part of the memorial. Its been named Survivor Tree because it was pulled from the wreckage and nursed back to health by the Parks Department in New York City.
You enter the 9/11 Museum at ground level and descend the escalators passing a steel beam monument salvaged from the rubble of Ground Zero. The Twin Towers had a vast underground area of shops and transportation lines. The 9/11 Museums rooms and exhibits are in this cavernous area below ground.
There are 2 main exhibitions that account for the majority of the 9/11 Museum, In Memoriam and the Historical Exhibition. These exhibits have their own rooms within the museum.
Outside of these rooms, youll find information about how the towers were constructed, see pieces of steel and a smashed fire truck, and learn some of the untold stories of 9/11 like those of the K-9 units who helped rescuer workers at Ground Zero.
Resources For Learning About 9/11
Consider reading novels about 9/11, both fictional and non-fictional, as an opportunity for the travelers to New York City to learn about 9/11, the emotions it evoked across New York, the country and the world, and its aftereffects. Especially for children, this is an engaging way to learn about the events that unfolded.
Check out these books before your next visit to New York City:
- This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth by Sean Rubin
- Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
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Way N : Buy The New York City Pass
If you plan on visiting a number of attractions, getting the New York City Pass may be a good way of saving *some* money.
Unless you plan on visiting 5 attractions on the same day , you really dont end up saving that much. You also have to book entrance to all attractions separately.
These are the best New York City Passes:
- Youth between the age of 13 and 17: $20.00
- Children between the age of 6 and 12: $15.00
There is an additional $2 USD fee for tickets bought online.
Children up to 6 years and US Military can visit for free.
The 9/11 Memorial is free to visit.
Consider How Youll Get There
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is located in lower Manhattan. Parking in this area is very limited, so its best to use public transportation or ride sharing, depending on your time, budget, and starting location.
With its location next to the World Trade Center Oculus Transportation Hub, getting to the memorial and museum can be accomplished by subway, bus, or the PATH train. However, the public transportation system in New York City can be frustrating. Schedules are subject to change due to repairs, and tickets are not available at every station. Ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host for help getting to this part of the city. It will also help to download the MYmta app prior to your trip.
If youre traveling at an off-peak time, using a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft is also a good option. But dont do this during morning or evening commuting hours, since youll be stuck in traffic.
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Join A 9/11 Tour To Learn More/learn First Hand Experiences
GetYourGuide offers skip-the-line tickets but also guided tours of the 9/11 Memorial, led by local New Yorkers who have a personal connection to the 9/11 attacks.
This 90-minute tour of the 9/11 Memorial starts at nearby St. Pauls Chapel, which survived the crumbling buildings on September 11th. Hear personal stories of how everyday citizens became heroes. All-access tour and ticket options include One World Observatory tickets and 9/11 Memorial Museum tickets. Private tour options are also available.
End Your Visit Outdoors At The Memorial
After time indoors, its nice to retreat to the park setting of the memorial. Most people are immediately drawn to the North and South pools that mark the former location of the World Trade Center buildings. Inscribed around the edges of the pools are the names of all the victims.
Next, head to the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree that was discovered at Ground Zero during the clean-up. It was removed and rehabilitated, and later returned in 2010. It stands as a symbol of resilience.
Finally, walk through Memorial Glade, a tribute to all those who are suffering or died from 9/11-related illnesses. The path through the glade is flanked by six stone monoliths that were constructed in Vermont.
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Think Twice About Bringing Little Ones
Young children are not likely to understand the 9/11 Museum and could be very upset by its exhibits. The dim, underground setting may also be alarming for young children. However, older kids may be open to visiting. The audio tour offered for kids 8 to 11 years old is a nice way to make this experience age appropriate.
The 9/11 Museum offers advice on how to talk to kids about terrorism. Grandparents may want to review this prior to a visit with children.
The Fdny Memorial Wall
Located on Greenwich Street at the corner of Liberty Street, just southeast of the 9/11 Memorial hangs the FDNY Memorial Wall by artist Joe Petrovics.
This 7000 pound bronze wall is attached to the wall of Engine and Ladder Company 10, the local fire station.
It is a memorial to the 343 active NYC firefighters who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001 + 1 local attorney who was a volunteer firefighter outside of the city.
The 56-foot long bas-relief sculpture depicts the World Trade Center towers in flames and scenes of firefighters executing their duties.
For more information on the memorial, please visit .
Listen to firefighter Lt. Mickey Kross tell his story of surviving the tower collapse .
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How To Get 9/11 Museum Tickets
Getting 9/11 Museum tickets is easier than you can imagine. This post will highlight the various options available.
9/11 Museum and Memorial is one of the most popular attractions in New York.
As you may already know, I was in New York on 9/11. Back then I worked at the United Nations, in the headquarters building in 1 UN Plaza. That was a very sad day for New York in fact, for the world. And one that should never be forgotten.
New York got back on its feet soon after the attacks the World Trade Center has been rebuilt and where the Twin Towers once stood, there now is the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, where you can learn more about the history of those horrible days, honor the many victims, and be warned about the terrible things humans can at times do.
This post will tell you what to expect when visiting 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and how to get tickets.
The Stories Beyond The Memorial
Visitors far and wide have come to see the memorial that rests where two towers once reached great heights. Beyond the memorial itself, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum holds unique memorabilia and artifacts that tell the story of those individuals who lost their lives on that somber day.
Though many of the exhibits within the museum bring about a sense of grief, there are also stories that remind the world of the power tragedy holds in bringing people closer together. The beautiful commemoration to these unique individuals allows visitors to put a story and a photograph to the names. Through each artifact and seemingly ordinary object, you’ll uncover the intimate details that make each item so important in relation to the events that took place either at the North or South World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, Flight 11 , Flight 175, Flight 77 and Flight 93.
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Way N : Take A Guided Tour Of The Memorial Museum And World Trade Center Observatory
Another great way of getting tickets that is inclusive of all the most significant places linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks is a guided tour that also goes to the World Trade Center Observatory and the Memorial.
During the tour, you also go the World Trade Center Observatory, on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floors of the Freedom Tower the tallest building in the USA with its 417 meters .
Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 am they last 5 hours and cost $109. You can buy yours here.
How To Get To 9/11 Museum And Memorial
The National September 11 Memorial Museum is located at 180 Greenwich Street, in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.
There are 4 entrances to the building:
The easiest way to get there is by public transportation.
Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and A, C, J, Z will take you all the way to Lower Manhattan. You can also take trains E and R. The best stations to get off are Chambers Street Station or Fulton Street Station, Park Place, World Trade Center, Rector Street or Cortland Street Station.
You can get to the Financial District by bus from other places in Manhattan. You will likely need to take a bus that is southbound. The buses that stop nearby are the M55 the M20 and the M22 . If you are taking the M55 Northbound get off at Trinity Place and Rector Street.
Another convenient way of getting there is by hop-on hop-off bus. You can get your pass here.
FROM NEW JERSEY: If you are traveling from New Jersey, you can get to the World Trade Center Terminal by PATH Train.
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Rebirth At Ground Zero
This exhibit is a 270-degree media installation that offers a time-lapse look at the rebirth of Ground Zero, where rubble was cleared to transform the space into something remarkable, reflective, and commemorative. Project Rebirth is the nonprofit organization behind the inspiring installation and “Rebirth at Ground Zero” is on view every 15 minutes.
Visit Early In The Morning Or Late In The Evening
Like many attractions in New York City, avoid the crowds by visiting either early in the morning when the Museum opens, or in the evening before it closes. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to experience the Museum in full. The 9/11 Memorial and Memorial Museum opening hours and days are listed below.
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Names On The Memorial
Prior to its opening in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum underwent a multi-year process to verify and arrange the names that would be inscribed into the Memorials bronze parapets. All inscribed names represent 9/11 attack homicide victims: people who died as a direct result of injury sustained in the attacks on September 11, 2001, including the impacts of the planes and the building collapses.
Every name can be located by the panel on which it is inscribed. A panel address is comprised of the letter N or S followed by a number 1 through 76. See a full list of names on the Memorial.
What To Expect When Visiting 9/11 Museum And Memorial
The 9/11 Museum and Memorial will leave a strong impression on you. This is a museum most people visit in silence, in awe at a part of history most of us remember, yet we still know little about. You will be overwhelmed with sadness and anger at some point.
The 9/11 Museum is not recommended for children below the age of 10. The exhibit may not be best suited for such a young audience. Furthermore, younger kids may end up getting bored in a place that is so quiet. If you are set on visiting, you may want to find a babysitter to take care of your children while youre at the museum.
Finally, continue reading to discover how to get 9/11 Museum tickets.
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Why You Should Visit The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
Stationed in the exact footprints of the original twin towers, this memorial honors what once stood but is no more.
Before entering the museum, the approximately one-acre reflecting pools outside are fed by waterfalls which collectively make up the largest artificial waterfall in North America. The bronze parapets lining the pools have engravings of the victim’s names.
Also outside the museum is the Survivor Tree and Memorial Glade. The Survivor Tree is a tree that survived the attacks and continues to live despite every effort to destroy it — a sign of resilience.
The Memorial Glade was designed to honor those who were injured or lost their lives due to the aftermath of the attacks, such as responders who were harmed by toxins in the air.
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The museum is a 110,000 square foot opportunity to re-walk the events of 9/11, from the day before, to the day of, to the day after the tragic event. The journey through these three sections of the museum is not easy. But, it brings the story to life so that we never forget.
The memorial exhibition, called In Memoriam, allows visitors to get to know those who lost their lives in the 1993 bombing and 2001 terrorist attacks.
Features in the museum include:
- Interactive exhibits
- The Last Column
- The slurry wall
The National September 11th Memorial Museum
Unlike the 911 Memorial, you must purchase tickets to enter the Museum.
Through interactive technology, archives, narratives, and a collection of artifacts, the Museum recounts the events of 9/11.
To see a preview of what your visit will be like, here is a virtual tour of the museum.
Hours: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm. The last entry time is at 7 pm.
Tickets: Tickets are “timed-entry” meaning you must select a specific date and time when you make your purchase. Tickets can be purchased up to three months in advance.
You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
Several tour companies combine a walking tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero with tickets to the 9/11 Museum. Learn more.
TIP: Admission to the museum is included for free with the purchase of either the New York Pass, the Explorer Pass or the CityPass booklet. Read our post comparing the different tourist attractions passes in NYC.
- $20 | Young Adult
- $18 | U.S. Veterans
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