Strangers Side By Side
Arad was living in the East Village on 9/11, when indescribable terror arrived from an impossibly clear blue autumn sky and changed the world forever. He saw the second plane hit the south tower from the roof of his building.
An Israeli citizen born in London, Arad had lived the peripatetic life of an ambassadors son, attending high school in Mexico City when his father, Moshe Arad, was posted there. They had lived also in New York briefly.
He went to Dartmouth College, where he met Melanie Fitzpatrick, who was bound for corporate law. Arad took a break from school to serve his required stint in the Israeli army, returned to finish up and then moved to Atlanta, where he and Fitzpatrick attended graduate school at Georgia Tech. They married in February 2001 and moved to Manhattan.
What Arad remembered about 9/11 and the frightening days that followed didnt resemble Libeskinds idea two years later when the competition was announced. Arads was a street-level memory, and he was convinced a memorial should capture that.
If the terrorists thought theyd sow fear and division, they did not succeed.
He would never forget how people poured into Union Square, Times Square, Washington Square, needing to be together, to stand side by side with strangers, bearing individual pain but sharing collective grief.
Standing in Washington Square late one night, he felt, for the first time, at home in the city, that he belonged 9/11 made him a New Yorker.
Nyc Events For The 20th Anniversary Of 9/11
Throughout New York, there are a number of events planned to mark the 20th anniversary this year.
9/11 Memorial commemoration ceremony
As they do every year, the 9/11 Memorial will hold a commemoration ceremony, where all the names of those killed in the September 11th attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are read aloud by family members.
Throughout the ceremony, there will also be six moments of silence, corresponding with the times when each of the towers were struck and fell and the times of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.
The ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. Only 9/11 family members will be permitted access. The memorial will re-open to the public after the ceremony concludes . After that time, the memorial will be accessible to anyone. However, the museum will remain open exclusively for 9/11 family members for the remainder of the day.
At sundown, the Tribute in Light will begin. This annual tradition lights up the sky with two bright beams, emanating the look of the original Twin Towers. For a few hours, people all across the city can look up and see the towers once again as part of the skyline.
St. Pauls Chapel
Credit: Djnichols62 / CC BY-SA 4.0
Just down the block from the World Trade Center, St. Pauls Chapel will hold its annual morning bell services, ringing the Bell of Hope at precisely 8:46 a.m., when the first plane crashed into the North Tower.
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Ways New Yorkers Can Commemorate The 20th Anniversary Of 9/11
Next Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Whether New Yorkers were here two decades ago or not, it will be a somber day across the city and across the world. For those looking for ways to honor the anniversary, we have put together a preliminary list of commemorations and events, whether you prefer to mark the date from home or in a group of your fellow New Yorkers. The list includes the annual Tribute in Light and reading of the names, as well as indoor and outdoor concerts, documentary film screenings, and more.
20th Anniversary CommemorationOrganized by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the annual commemoration ceremony will focus on the reading of the names of those killed in the 9/11 attacks and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing by family members of the victims. Throughout the ceremony, six moments of silence will be observed, acknowledging when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93. The in-person ceremony is open only to family members, but it will be broadcast live on ABCs Good Morning America.
Lead image, clockwise from top left: Tribute in Light photo by David Z from Pixabay Empty Sky Memorial photo by Sandra Grünewald on Unsplash 9/11 Memorial photo by Aaron Lee on Unsplash Table of Silence Project 9/11 photo courtesy of Lincoln Center
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Download The Audio Guide
The vast size of the memorial and museum can make the experience overwhelming. Fortunately, there are audio guides available to help visitors navigate. You can either rent audio equipment or download the guides on your phone. Three tours are available: Witnessing History, Discovering History , and Building History.
A separate audio guide is available for the memorial and can be purchased through the Apple or Google app stores. This 40-minute tour uses GPS technology to guide visitors around both the North and South pools, to the Survivor Tree, and through the Memorial Glade.
Should I Bring My Kids To The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
Even though this one of the best things to do in Manhattan, we would not recommend a visit with the children. For those who dont want or cant afford to pay 24 bucks for a ticket, it would be good to know that there is free admission for the 9/11 Memorial Museum on Tuesday evenings for New Yorkers with valid ID.
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Follow Our 9/11 20th Anniversary Coverage Here:
On Sunday, comedians Jon Stewart and Pete Davidson will mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by hosting a comedy benefit at Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from the 7 p.m. show featuring comedians Jimmy Fallon, Dave Chappelle, Amy Schumer and SNL Weekend Update hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che will go toward 9/11-related charities.
We wanted to put on a fun celebration to honor this great citys resilience, Davidson and Stewart previously said in a joint statement.
Additional reporting by Carl Campanile, Craig McCarthy, and Bernadette Hogan
A Tribute In Light Across The City
At sunset on Saturday, 88 7,000-watt light bulbs will reach four miles into the sky from the roof of the Battery Parking Garage, mirroring the shapes of the twin towers.
This Tribute in Light, organized by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, was first presented six months after the attack. Each year after that, the ghostly echoes of the towers have lighted up Lower Manhattan from dusk until dawn on the evening of Sept. 11.
Buildings throughout the city, including the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center Plaza and the New-York Historical Society will join in the memorial by lighting up their facades and rooftops in sky blue.
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The Fdny Memorial Wall
Located on Greenwich Street at the corner of Liberty Street, just southeast of the 9/11 Memorial hangs the FDNY Memorial Wall by artist Joe Petrovics.
This 7000 pound bronze wall is attached to the wall of Engine and Ladder Company 10, the local fire station.
It is a memorial to the 343 active NYC firefighters who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001 + 1 local attorney who was a volunteer firefighter outside of the city.
The 56-foot long bas-relief sculpture depicts the World Trade Center towers in flames and scenes of firefighters executing their duties.
For more information on the memorial, please visit .
Listen to firefighter Lt. Mickey Kross tell his story of surviving the tower collapse .
How To Get Here
Use this map for specific directions to the 9/11 Memorial.
The easiest way to get here is via the subway. The following lines will get you within walking distance of the memorial:
A, C, 1, 2, 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 or 1 train to Rector Street R train to Cortlandt Street
Visitors who plan on using a hop-on-hop-off bus will be happy to know that most services offer stops very close to the 9/11 Memorial.
Alternatively, you can also take a public bus to get here.
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How Much Is The Admission To The 9/11 Museum
Tickets for the museum can be purchased up to six months in advance. All admission tickets include entry to all exhibitions. Admissions for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum start at $26 for adults, $20 for young adults , youth pay $15 and seniors, as well as college students, pay $20. U.S. veterans pay $18.
What To See At The 9/11 Memorial
When you enter the memorial the very first thing you will notice are two memorial pools. Placed in the footprints of the North and South Tower, the cascade of water that pours from the rim creates a peaceful atmosphere.
This is one of the highlights of our guided tour of Ground Zero, and its truly a moving sight to behold. Titled Reflecting Absence, the pools were designed by architect Michael Arad after winning an international design competition with over 5,000 entries. Youll notice that no matter where you stand, the bottom center of the pool cannot be seen. This is meant to symbolize the unending impact of loss.
Between the two pools is the entrance and top floor of the 9/11 Museum most of which is underground. Surrounding the memorial is a series of skyscrapers that now make up the World Trade Center. The tallest building is Tower One, otherwise known as the Freedom Tower. The top of this building is home to One World Observatory with beautiful views of New York Harbor and downtown Manhattan. Its a great place to stop before or after your visit to the memorial.
Walking around the memorial youll notice a few other symbolic components. Next to the South Pool is the Survivor Tree, one of the only living things found in the rubble of Ground Zero.
Continuing south, look up for the remnants of The Sphere. This sculpture was originally the centerpiece of the World Trade Center Plaza and is displayed exactly as it was found in the remains of the Twin Towers.
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Tours Of The 9/11 Memorial
There are several options for guided tours and some include admission to the National September 11th Museum and/or One World Observatory as well.
Even if you cant manage to book a trip with us, there are quite a few affordable options out there, including our anytime GPS audio tour.
Every 9/11 Memorial tour on this list is highly rated and well-received by guests. Most tours are offered daily.
Although these excursions typically include some sensitive historical information, some families really enjoy the experience of visiting this important monument of American history.
Below is a handy calendar of tour availability.
Note:There is a 45-minute official tour of the National September 11th Memorial, which is both highly rated and, after our pay-what-you-like tours, the most affordable, at $15/person. It runs 4 times daily.
It’s also free for New York Pass holders and a discount for those with the CityPass booklet.
Be sure to read our post on New York tourist passes.
Free Tours by Foot
We offer several pay-what-you-wish tours as well as anytime GPS tours that include the 911 Memorial as a part of the main focus of the tour.
We are one of the highest-rated tour companies in New York City. Read our reviews.
We offer an anytime GPS audio tour of the memorial recorded by one of our tour guides. Here is a sample of the tour.
9/11 Ground Zero Tours
- $69 for Adults | $59 for Children
This Museum Is One Of The Deepest Buildings Of Its Kind Both Physically And Metaphorically
19 years on from the worst terrorist attack in American history, the National September 11 Memorial Museum which opened in 2013 remains one of the most visited destinations in New York City, and reopens tomorrow with COVID-19-related safety measures in place. Designed by lead architect Davis Brody Bond with an iconic entry pavilion by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, the building sits in between the two roaring pools of Michael Arads 9/11 Memorial. It is part of a larger master plan that includes the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower.
The museum is more than just a collection it incorporates some of the original World Trade Center structures and is one of the deepest buildings of its kind, both physically and metaphorically. Here are 10 facts about the building that are sure to make a lasting impression.
Image courtesy Snøhetta
1. The majority of the building is underground. An entrance ramp leads 70 feet down to a large hall in the footprint of the North Tower, meant to evoke emptiness and absence.
2. Foundation Hall is a huge, towering space. The slurry wall, a retaining wall that survived the attacks, is incorporated into the design and is meant to represent survival and determination. This space houses the Last Column, a 36-foot-high piece of steel that was the last to be taken from the site during cleanup in May 2002.
Image courtesy Snøhetta
Image courtesy Snøhetta
Image via The Daily Mail
Image via The Daily Mail
Image courtesy Snøhetta
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Is There An Audio Guide At The 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum Audio Guide provides themed audio tours featuring stories from the day of 9/11 and the recovery at Ground Zero. Its a great way to explore the museum on your own and not missing out on information. You will also discover the details of the Museums archaeological elements plus the architectural designs of the Memorial and the Museum.
Th Anniversary Memorial Services
The 20th anniversary came just weeks after a hastened withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan following the 2021 Taliban offensive in which the Taliban reconquered Afghanistan it also came amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of the 2021 United States Capitol attack. It was in this climate that former President George W. Bush said in a speech at the Shanksville memorial that both foreign and domestic extremists were “children of the same foul spirit”, a comparison which angered some right-wing politicians and media figures. President Joe Biden, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, and their respective first ladies attended a memorial ceremony together at the National September 11 Memorial, where the World Trade Center towers fell two decades prior. Biden then went on to visit the other two 9/11 crash sites, stopping at the national memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and finally, the Pentagon. Former President Donald Trump visited police and fire houses in New York City to commemorate the attack.
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Reasons Not To Take Your Kids To The 9/11 Museum
The kids might cry! Lets face it, the terrorist attacks upset everyone. Learning about them at the memorial and museum rather than in school from a history book makes it real. Seeing the thousands of photos of those lost in the collapse of the Twin Towers is difficult even for adults.
Its scary to think about. I saw a boy, about 10 years old, who looked tearful and terrified. But I also saw teenagers paying close attention to the exhibits, shares TravelingMom, Jamie Bartosch.
Its a long tour. By the time you wait in line, go through security and go through the different exhibits, youre probably looking at a minimum of 2 hours. You know your children or grandchildren. Do you think they have the attention span?
There are no interactive, kids museum-like features. The museum displays include glassed artifacts, short video clips that play on loops and storyboards to read. If your childs attention span is limited, this might not be the best museum tour. Consider taking the kids to the memorial fountains instead.
Purchase Your Tickets Ahead Of Time
Due to the popularity of the museum, it is a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance. You will find the best prices online. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is a true masterpiece. The visit is a very emotional experience and should definitely be a part of your trip to the Big Apple.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum has become an essential part of Ground Zero over the past years and will make sure that September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten.
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The National September 11th Memorial Museum
Unlike the Memorial, you must purchase tickets to enter the Museum.
Through interactive technology, archives, narratives, and a collection of artifacts, the Museum recounts the events of 9/11.
To see a preview of what your visit will be like, here is a virtual tour of the museum.
Hours: Daily from 9 am to 8 pm. The last entry time is at 7 pm.
Tickets: Tickets are “timed-entry” meaning you must select a specific date and time when you make your purchase. Tickets can be purchased up to three months in advance.
You can purchase tickets by clicking here.
Several tour companies combine a walking tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Ground Zero with tickets to the 9/11 Museum. Learn more.
TIP: Admission to the museum is included for free with the purchase of either the New York Pass, the Explorer Pass or the CityPass booklet. Read our post comparing the different tourist attractions passes in NYC.
- $28 Adults
Free admission will be available for all visitors every Tuesday, from 5 pm to 8 pm .
A limited number of advance tickets for these free Tuesdays will be available online, starting two weeks in advance of each Tuesday.
A limited number of tickets are available every Tuesday on a first-come, first-served basis.
Get more detail on this cost-saving opportunity at our post – Free Admission 911 Museum.
Join us for our Tuesday World Trade Center and 911 Memorial Tour from 1 pm till 3 pm, after which you can pick up tickets for free entry.