Intended as a solemn place to honour the people who lost their lives in the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on US soil, the World Trade Center Memorial and the museum here will be combined in an underground complex below Ground Zero. The Memorial will be opened to the public on September 11 2009 and the museum, a year later in 2010.
After 9/11 most people expected the site of the twin towers to become a memorial. It took the city administration a year to clear the site - dubbed Ground Zero - of the debris. Most of the memorabilia collected during this time, including some 1,000-odd WTC artefacts - was assembled in a hangar at JFK Airport.
Soon after the attack the then New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, set up the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) to oversee the rebuilding of the site. In April 2003, the LMDC announced a contest to design a 9/11 memorial. After reviewing 5,201 entries, Michael Arad and Peter Walker's design “Reflecting Absence" was selected. The winning design envisages two massive voids with dramatic waterfalls cascading down their sides into two tranquil reflecting pools with the names of all the people who died inscribed on the walls.
In 2005 the efforts of the LMDC were fortified by the formation of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organisation, which offered to fund and operate the memorial.
Currently, all roads lead to Tribute WTC on 120 Liberty Street, where you can view some exhibits. The center also offers walking tours with survivors or those involved in the rescue on that fateful day.
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