There is no easy way to talk about the September 11 National Memorial and not have it bring up memories of the fateful day no matter where you lived in the U.S. While visiting New Jersey and New York in October 2015, we spoke with many people about where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news about the attacks. It’s still hard to comprehend the magnitude of what happened that day, especially for those who lost loved ones.
This remarkable memorial is on the site where the former Twin Towers were before the brutal attacks on September 11, 2001, which killed 2,507 civilians, 72 law enforcement officers, 343 firefighters, and 55 military personnel.
Two 1-acre pools with the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States comprise the footprints of the Twin Towers, symbolizing the loss of life and the physical void left by the attacks. The waterfalls are intended to mute the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary. Almost 400 sweet gum and swamp white oak trees fill the Memorial Plaza, enhancing the site’s reflective nature.
Today the names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993, and September 11, 2001, are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools. The names are arranged according to an algorithm, creating “meaningful adjacencies” based on relationships—proximity at the time of the attacks, company or organization affiliations (for those working at the World Trade Center or the Pentagon), and in response to about 1,200 requests from family members.
With that said, I would like to share a little about our visit to this emotional memorial. We were in New Jersey the night before and took the Path into New York which let us off right at the World Trade Center stop. We came up the stairs and there were signs and directions to get to the memorial which was a very short distance from the Path stop. As we made our way around the corner, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the size of the memorial
I had no idea how large the memorials were. I mean, I had seen pictures, but they don’t really give you a feel of how large they really were. It was really touching and emotional to think of all the people that had worked there day in and day out in that vast area that are no longer with us today. It was quite an eye-opening experience.
I was living in California during the attacks and did not know anyone personally that lost their lives that day, but I still wanted to go and pay my respects and say a prayer for the victims and their families. I do however have a co-worker who lost a cousin so I was able to say a prayer for him and his family as well as place a flower on his name. It really made it even more real (not that it wasn’t already). It was definitely an emotional way to start our trip in New York, but also very meaningful. It is something I didn’t want to have to see, but couldn’t not go to see it while we were in New York. RIP all those lost that horrific day.
Here is the 9/11 Memorial & Museum website with more information. Here are also a few more things we did on our first trip to NYC, and the area, that isn’t sad and depressing:
September 11 Memorial & Museum
180 Greenwich Street – New York, NY 10007
9/11 Memorial, Open Daily
Thursday and Friday, 12 to 7 p.m.
Saturday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9/11 Memorial Museum, Open Thursday–Monday
Thursday and Friday, 12 to 7 p.m.
Saturday to Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Youth (7-12) $15
Young (13-17) $20
Senior (65+) $20
College Student $20
US Veteran $18
- A, C, 1, 2, or 3 to Chambers Street
- A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, or 5 trains to Fulton Street
- 2 or 3 trains to Park Place
- E train to World Trade Center
- R train to Rector Street
- R train to Cortlandt Street
- 1 train to WTC Cortlandt
- M55 Southbound: get off at Broadway and Thames Street
- M55 Northbound: get off at Trinity Place and Rector Street
- M20 Southbound: get off on South End Avenue between Liberty Street and Albany Street
- M22 Southbound: get off on Vesey Street between North End Avenue and West Street
The PATH train serves the World Trade Center terminal from multiple points in New Jersey. If traveling by car from New Jersey or other points west, the Harrison PATH station is a convenient location. Park in an adjacent parking facility, then take PATH to the World Trade Center. Check the PATH website for schedules, maps, and service changes.
On-street parking in lower Manhattan is extremely limited. Hey it’s New York, lol. The Memorial does not provide parking.
In Manhattan, the Battery Parking Garage is a convenient, nearby parking option. Check Google Map for directions to the Battery Parking Garage at 70 Greenwich Street. Alternate entrances are located at 81 Washington Street and 20 Morris Street. SP+ parking facilities also provide parking close the Memorial and Museum. Please check current street conditions before you drive.
If traveling by car from New Jersey or other points west, the Harrison PATH station is a convenient location to park in an adjacent parking facility, then take PATH to the World Trade Center.
There are several accessible entrances to the September 11 Memorial. They are identified with a wheelchair symbol on the map. Wheelchairs, mechanized scooters, other power-driven mobility devices, walkers, and strollers are accommodated at the 9/11 Memorial. FYI, Manual wheelchairs (standard and wide) and wheeled walkers are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the coat check in the Concourse Lobby of the Museum. Wheelchairs are provided solely for use in the Museum.
There is also a ramp that leads to the overlook, just past the Information Desk in the Concourse Lobby. For easier navigation, they recommend that you travel down on the right side of the ramp. Alternatively, you may reach to the lower levels by taking the elevator in the Concourse Lobby.
Service animals are welcome at the Memorial and inside the museum.
Induction loops that transmit sound directly to visitors with T-coil compatible hearing aids and cochlear implants are installed throughout the Museum wherever there is audio, including in the exhibition spaces, auditorium, and classrooms. All audio wands in the Museum are also T-coil compatible and have volume-control adjustment buttons. T-coil compatible neck loops to accompany the handheld devices are also available at the Information Desk.
Electronic touchscreen kiosks are located on the Memorial plaza to explore the arrangement of the 2,983 names on the Memorial.
Large-print and braille commemorative guides to the Memorial are available upon request at the same distribution points as other commemorative guides at the Memorial.
For additional information for visitors with disabilities, please contact (646) 583-3419 (voice and VP) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing should please contact accessibility programs via email@example.com while their TTY technology is being upgraded.
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