After the opening in May last year, the 9/11 museum was at the center of an intense debate. According to sources like CNN still 8,000 unidentified human remains are entombed in the bedrock beneath the exhibition space, while souvenirs like mugs, t-shirts and cheesy stuff are sold at the same place. Families of the victims have expressed their feelings by saying that it is insensitive to sell souvenirs on the place where people died or still are missing, while others criticized the highly admission fee of $24 making this place a commercial enterprise.
On the original World Trade Center site you can find the memorial fountains and the museum. The memorials are 2 pools within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood, pouring water into two holes – that where once the North and South Tower. The museum is underground below the twin memorial pools. Both the museum and memorials is a place to honor the victims of the September 11 attack and also to honor the twin towers. Additional a skyscraper was build which is now the highest building in New York and the USA called Freedom Tower.
Entering the museum is similar to a security check on the airport. Then you pass a picture of lower Manhattan around 8.30, 16 minutes prior the attack. When making your way to the next level you pass a half destroyed staircase which is called the “survivor staircase” used when people tried to escape.
Roughly the museum houses several exhibitions. The story of 9/11, before and after, is told with backgrounds leading up to the event the aftermath. While you follow this timeline, artifacts, images, audio recordings are shown making you reliving that day. Maps throughout the museum show visitors where they are standing in relation to the original WTC buildings which I found hard to realize.
In a short second the wall of faces in another exhibition room reminded me of the wall in the Tuol Sleng museum in Cambodia (another tragic place) where they exposed pictures of the prisoners before and after torture. However and fortunately this exhibition is not a horror wall and shows a photo from almost every individual victim. On the touchscreen you are able to click on the victims hearing and reading small biographies. This exhibition is sad but a beautiful dedication to the 3000 victims and set up in a modern way.
What I found interesting where artifacts as pieces of the airplaine and personal belongings. More remarkable the section of steels from the North Tower floors 93-96 - 96-99 and the point of impact where flight 11 pierced the building see picture below. I tried to illustrate it better in red.
I can truly understand the emotions when opening this museum especially for relatives cause for them this must be a sacred place. On the other hand it is in human nature to visit sites like these to learn more about what happened or just out of curiosity or showing respect? I see the site and museum as a beautiful dedication to all the lost ones but also the tragic event that occurred in the USA. Buy really do you need to ask $24 to enter? I did not expect to get such a good experience and moreover learn about unknown stuff. I highly recommend this place when visiting New York.
Would you visit the museum between other attractions? If you are planning to go, buy your tickets in advance to avoid lines.