The new national September 11th Memorial remembers and honors the almost 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, the field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon.
The memorial has twin reflecting pools that are almost an acre in size, featuring the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The pools sit in the footprints which the towers left behind. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design, which was selected from a competition which featured over 5,200 entries.
The names of every person who died in the 1993 and the 2001 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the single greatest loss of rescue personnel in American history.
The memorial is over 16 acres in the center of the busy metropolis. Walker has designed the area to be dubbed the “Memorial Glade,” full of oak tree plantings. This offers a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. They selected trees to bring in from the Pennsylvanian site of 9/11, the majority being swamp white oaks because of the beautiful display they give off in the fall. All the trees are different, and grow at different heights to reinforce individualism and the individuals who passed away.
There will also be an onsite museum which displays collections of individual stories, artifacts and photographs. Families of the victims can display a memorial of their loved ones and will receive free admission to the museum. The museum will have an entrance from the subway as well as the street. The overall goal of these memorials is to ensure that the lives of these individuals will never be forgotten. Their legacy will leave behind a message of hope and peace to future generations.