The National September 11 Memorial will open on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, the memorial is located at ground zero, on the western half of the
former World Trade Center complex where the Twin Towers once stood.
The Memorial park surrounds two square waterfalls set within the footprints of the North and
South Towers. This is where the towers used to stand. The waterfalls, the largest man-made water-
falls in North America, will cascade into reflecting pools, finally disappearing into the center voids. The
names of people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, at the Pentagon, and on Flight 93, as
well as in the 1993 bombing at the WTC, will be etched in bronze around the edges of the pools.
The plaza will be lined with cobblestones and filled with over 300 Swamp White oak trees, creating a space for
reflection separate from the sights and sounds of the surrounding city. The trees were selected from a 500-mile radius of the WTC site, including nurseries located in New York, Pennsylvania, and near Washington, DC, to symbolize areas impacted on 9/11. Now, instead of looking up at the towers, we will look down at what is left behind. It will be a different kind of looking, asking us to appreciate the power of what isn’t there, the power of staring at an absence.
National September 11 Memorial Museum
The 9/11 Memorial Museum will open on
September 11, 2012 and be located beneath the memorial. Visitors enter the 120,000 square foot
Museum through a Pavilion where two steel “tridents,” remnants of the North Tower’s façade, stand in the
building’s atrium. The main exhibition space will be located seven stories down to the bedrock foundations
of the World Trade Center. The Museum will offer displays of artifacts from the WTC and 9/11 attacks, interactive exhibitions, contemplative areas, and programs that will convey individual and collective
stories relating the experiences of survivors, responders, area residents and eyewitnesses. A memorial exhibition will honor the individual victims of the attacks.
Education at the Memorial Museum
An exhibition about September 11 will naturally raise complex questions. While demonstrating the worst of human nature and the capacity for hateful
ideologies to lead to extreme acts of violence and inhumanity, September 11 also revealed the profound
human capacity to care for one another and to recognize our common humanity in acts of
spontaneous generosity and response, transcending differences of race, nationality, religion, economic
strata, and political affiliation. This Memorial Museum will present both aspects of the 9/11 story, while
acknowledging the unfinished nature of this story and the continuing ambiguities surrounding a full
understanding the significance of these relatively recent, historical events.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum’s education pages (http://www.national911memorial.org/education)
contain numerous resources that speak to these ideas for use in the classroom. More are being developed,
but you can currently find:
• In-depth teacher guides for elementary, middle and upper school students and an interactive timeline.
• Information on the WTC, 9/11’s origins and impacts, including the 1993 WTC bombing.
• Online educational resources for learning and teaching about 9/11 from other organizations.
• The webcast series, Exploring 9/11: The World Before and After, presenting interviews with a range
of experts exploring 9/11 through the lens of various disciplines including geopolitics, art, history, and
religion. Each webcast is offered along with its own teaching and learning guide.
For inquiries, questions, or thoughts, please email Noah Rauch, Manager of School and Family Programs