The 9/11 National Memorial Museum, is located at the former site of the World Trade Center in New York. The National Memorial Museum was opened in May 2014 to honor the approximately 3,000 people that were killed on September 11, 2001, in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the United States.
The area of the National Museum is 110,000 square feet of exhibition space situated 70 feet below ground level, at the foundations of the original twin towers, telling the story of 9/11 through a variety of multimedia displays, archives, narratives, and a rich collection of monumental and authentic artifacts.
The National Museum houses contain over 10,000 artifacts salvaged from the destroyed buildings from personal mementos such as a teddy bear, an unspotted letter, a shoe, to large artifacts similar to mangled pieces of steel from the collapsed towers, an elevator motor, wrecked fire engines, and pieces of the plane. One of these artifacts is the historic ‘Survivors’ Stairs’, a 22-foot-tall flight of granite-clad stairs that linked Vesey Street to the World Trade Center.
Though during the Sep 11 2001 attacks, the stairs served as an escape route for hundreds of evacuees from the World Trade Center, a 9-floor building adjacent to the 110-story towers. For several, it was the only available route of escape, hence the term ‘Survivors Stairs’.
The worn-out staircase is now an imperative feature of the Museum. People can also see other structural leftovers such as the ‘Last Column’ to be removed from the site, now covered with remembrances from family and friends, and the unprotected side of the slurry wall retaining the Hudson River, which remained intact during and after September 11.
An exhibition tells the sad story of what did actually happen on 9/11, including the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the story of Flight 93. This exhibition explores the background leading up to the events and examines their aftermath and continuing implications.
There are portraits and profiles that label the approximately 3,000 people killed by the September 11, 2001, attacks and the 1993 trade center bombing, accompanied by spoken remembrances and mementos contributed by family members, and audio recordings of survivors and first responders.
Neighboring to the museum is the memorial which features two massive waterfalls and dazzling pools, each about an acre in size, around which are etched in parapets the names of those killed in the Sep 11, attacks. The reflecting pools are beautifully surrounded by 400 trees.