9/11: Memorial, Museum, and Rebuilding

The twin towers of the World Trade Center Complex collapsed on September 11, 2001. The South Tower collapsed at 10a.m. after burning for 55 minutes, and the North Tower collapsed at 10:30a.m. after burning for about 100 minutes. Today, a dedication ceremony will be held for the 9/11 Memorial, which will open to the public on Monday. But construction continues on 1 World Trade Center. “By 2012 we should have a completely rebuilt World Trade Center more magnificent, more spectacular than it ever was”, an US official said last year. The media had reported: “Work on rebuilding the main World Trade Center site was delayed until late 2006 when leaseholder Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey finally agreed on financing.”

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“The World Trade Center site, also known as “Ground Zero” after the September 11 attacks, sits on 16 acres (65,000 m2) in Lower Manhattan in New York City. One World Trade Center, more simply known as 1 WTC and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, will be located in the northwest corner of the World Trade Center site and will occupy the location where the original 8-story 6 World Trade Center once stood. This week the tower stands at 80 floors and counting. It is going up at the rate of a floor a week, the product of 24/7 activity by a team of 1,100 workers. By the time it opens, it will be 104 floors; a beacon will take it to the historically resonant height of 1,776 feet (541m)”, the media reported.

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One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the United States, standing at a symbolic height of 541m, and among the tallest buildings in the world. “It will be completed in 2013. The roof of the top floor of One World Trade Center will be 1,368 feet (417 m), the same as the original World Trade Center. One World Trade Center’s design includes 2,600,000 square feet (242,000 m2) of office space, as well as an observation deck, parking and broadcast and antenna facilities. 18,000 of small businesses in Lower Manhattan were destroyed or displaced after 9/11. Some 31,900,000 square feet (2,960,000 m2) of Lower Manhattan office space was damaged or destroyed “, the media added.

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Along with One World Trade Center, the new World Trade Center site will feature three other high-rise office buildings along Greenwich Street and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. “The National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center, formerly the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, is a non-profit corporation that began operations in 2005. The foundations name was changed in 2007 to better reflect the national scope of the September 11th attacks. Its mission is to finalize the design, program, own and operate the Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero planned by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), a city-state organization established after September 11th to direct the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan”, the media reported.

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“They dont call it the Freedom Tower anymore. They call it World Trade Center 1. And the reason they dont call it the Freedom Tower is because, the Port Authority made a decision that they really want to reposition it as what it is: its a commercial real estate building. Its a high-rise tower. Its an office tower. The truly memorial aspect of this is the memorial honoring the dead that now takes up the footprint of the old World Trade Center towers, the old Twin Towers. And Im told that thats a very moving, moving memorial. And, you know, to do $11 billion worth of real estate around that seems to me kind of insane”, an American journalist said.

The memorial will be opened on September 11, 2011, and the museum will open in 2012. “In 2004, the design, Reflecting Absence, was selected as the winner of the LMDC’s design competition. Two pools with the largest manmade waterfalls in the US cascading down their sides will be located within the footprints of the Twin Towers. Each pool will be 1-acre (4,000 m2), and together they are intended to symbolize the loss of life and the physical void left by the terrorist attacks. The sound of the water falling is supposed to drown out the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary. Almost 400 Sweet Gum and Swamp White Oak trees (in the memory of 411 firefighters who were killed in 9/11) will fill the remaining 6 acres (24,000 m2) of the Memorial Plaza, furthering the reflective nature of the site”, the media reported.

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“The names of the 2,975 who were killed in the September 11th attacks in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania and will be inscribed around the edges of the Memorial pools. The names of the victims who were in Tower 1 and on Flight 11, which hit Tower 1, will be located around the perimeter of the North Pool. The names surrounding the South Pool will include: those killed in Tower 2, the victims on Flight 175, which hit Tower 2, the victims who were in the immediate vicinity of the Towers, the first responders, the passengers on Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the passengers on Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, those killed at Pentagon, and the victims of the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing”, the media added.

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It was better that all the rebuilding was finished in 2011, after a decade. But many things are still incomplete. Yesterday, former US presidents Bush and Clinton, and more than 4,000 people, including relatives of those on board the United Airlines flight, were in the Flight 93 National Memorial, that is still incomplete. The passengers and crew of that flight fought against the terrorists, and stormed the cockpit to try to regain control from four terrorists, but the Boeing 757 crashed in a field. There were no survivors.

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