The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a harrowing tribute to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Names of the 2,983 victims are inscribed across 152 bronze panels surrounding the former locations of the Twin Towers. The museum itself is located underground, containing thousands of photographs and artifacts recovered from ground zero. In my opinion, the 9/11 Memorial is one of the can’t miss places to visit in New York City. Most people tend to share my point of view, which is why you’ll likely see hundreds of people waiting in a slow-moving queue to buy tickets. I highly recommend buying the NYC CityPass because the voucher allows you to skip this massive line and many others during your trip. In my experience on visiting a day before September 11, only victim family members and CityPass holders were allowed inside! You also have the option of buying tickets or donating through the National September 11 Memorial and Museum website.
From this point onwards, I’ll be detailing a step by step outline of what your experience might look like.
- Queue for tickets or head directly inside with your e-ticket or CityPass.
- Now you’ll have to go through airport-style security. Place the contents of your pockets in a container along with any backpacks or purses and send it through the conveyor belt. Next up is the full body scan where you do the routine should-width stance with arms held high.
- Proceed down the escalators and you’re free to explore the museum to your heart’s content.
- The first section is called “The Ramp” and an introductory video is available to watch. From here, it’s a short walk and escalator ride to the exhibition level.
- You’ll first go through “In Memoriam” which is a cubic room containing photographs of those lost in the attacks. After this is an area detailing the miraculous recovery post 9/11 and is titled “Rebirth at Ground Zero”. Please be respectful and do not take any photograph in these areas!
- You’ll now have come full circle back to the escalator. The next area contains Ladder Company 3’s firetruck and entrance, to “September 11, 2001, Historical Exhibition.”. This is the most comprehensive section of the museum and where you’ll spend the bulk of your time.
- The final area is called “Foundation Hall”. Here you’ll see a slurry wall which is typically built around areas close to water, in this case, the Hudson River. This structure was damaged during the attacks which created a tremendous fear of groundwater flooding. Last and certainly not least, the Last Column is considered the most symbolic artifact housed in the museum. Standing 36 feet tall and weighing 58 tonnes, this core structure of South Tower was covered with pictures and tributes by recovery workers. After going through a period of restoration, it now resides in the museum and perfectly symbolizes New York City’s resilience in times of adversity.
I hope you enjoyed reading my step by step outline of the 9/11 Museum. Again, I highly recommend buying a ticket online before visiting, it will help to make your experience as smooth as possible. You will thank me later! With that being said, I’ll conclude this blog post with some pictures of the memorial.