Built upon the grounds that once stood The Twin Towers of The World Trade Centre, the National September 11 Memorial Museum now serves as place to remember the 2977 victims of that fateful day when 2 hijacked planes crashed into the office buildings and 6 others who died in the bombing on the February 26, 1993. The museum documents the events leading up to the sequence of events on that day and the outpouring that followed after.
Recount the moments at the actual site
The 9/11 museum is built on the site where the 2 twin towers once stood; the foundations and the beams that once held the towers can be seen in their actual places around the museum. It is surreal to get a glimpse at the extent of the damage that was done; beams bent from the heat of the crash, walls that were part of the towers and the steps survivors ran down for escape. These actual sites are shown alongside original pictures of its use before the crash.
Walk through the exhibition hall to learn about the events that led up to that fateful day
Inside the museum is an exhibition hall that takes you through what happened on the day of the world tragedy. Walk through time as you listen in to the conversations, see the sights, and experience the state of New York city as the day unfolded. Here, there are artifacts and remains like bus tickets, documents that flew out of the towers, vehicles and equipment used in search and rescues. You get to hear the calls for help from the victims onboard the planes, the voices of the terrorists as well the responses from the ignorant and helpless on the ground. Discover the acts of heroism and selflessness of individuals in a bid to save lives. Also, learn about possible reasons that fueled this act of terror as well and get a glimpse of how it was carried out. Lastly, see how the city has responded and what have been done to remember the lost lives.
I suggest for you to take 2 to 3 hours to complete this segment, as there is a lot of information should you want cover it to its full extent.
Download an audio guide to listen to stories from the day of the event
A great way to learn more about the museum as well as hear eyewitness accounts is to download the “9/11 Museum” audio guide application from the app store. It is free and caters to many different languages (English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, American Sign Language). You will need earphones, and I recommend bringing your own to save from buying it at the museum. The app covers the building’s history, witnesses’ stories, descriptions of artefacts; with something for children and families. However, if you do not have a smartphone, audio guides are available at the museum for 7 USD.
Leave a note of appreciation
At the end of the museum is a reflection hall for visitors to deliberate on what they have seen and heard. It is a quiet area to compose your thoughts. Here you will find the “last column” the last structural piece that was removed from the site. It is a mark of respect to the service staff who lost their lives. You will also find touch screen computers where you can leave a message that appears on the world map on the wall. The museum keeps these messages of appreciation from its visitors.
Preparing for your visit
You are recommended to set aside 3 to 5 hours to take in the whole museum as there is a lot of information. It covers a very heavy topic and can be emotionally draining. Do not bring along any sharp or suspicious objects as security is tight with a bag scan at the entrance. Water is allowed in the museum and it would be wise to bring along your own bottle of water, as there aren’t any water coolers till the end. Bring along earphones for your audio guide as well as a sweater to keep warm, as it gets chilly. To avoid waiting in line, purchase your tickets online ahead of time. That will give you an advantage in picking the time you wish to enter to the museum. If not, tickets can be purchased at the museum itself, but go earlier in the day to avoid the crowd during peak seasons (June to November).
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