September 11th is an important date in American history, and a particularly poignant one for New Yorkers. Many travelers to NYC hope to learn more about the life-changing events of that day, but aren’t sure which memorial is the most appropriate place to pursue this information.
In honor of the tragic events of 9/11 that changed both the physical and cultural realities of NYC forever, a number of attractions have opened throughout the city. These attractions include the…
- 9/11 Memorial & Museum (the official memorial)
- 9/11 Tribute Museum
- Ground Zero Museum Workshop
Each offers a unique perspective on the events of September 11, 2001 and has something different to offer visitors. For more information about these three distinctive 9/11 attractions, continue reading below.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Located in the World Trade Center, this museum honors victims and heroes of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Visitors have an opportunity to view an exterior memorial with twin pools and man-made waterfalls. These pools were constructed as a reminder of the Twin Towers that once stood in that same position.
Victims of the attack have been honored with engravings of their names on the bronze panels near the pools, giving visitors an opportunity to pay tribute and to reflect upon their loss. The visit is further enhanced through archives, narratives, artifacts, and multimedia displays inside the Museum.
Some of the key features tourists can expect at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum include:
- An Historical Exhibition that shows the events before, on that day, and after the attack.
- A Memorial Exhibition that honors victims of the attacks.
- An Art Exhibition that features artwork from 13 artists.
- Cover stories from The New Yorker, within the period of the terrorist attacks.
Please keep in mind that the exhibits and photographs in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum can be graphic and upsetting for some people. Exercise your judgment when deciding whether to take young children through the exhibits. The exterior memorial features are appropriate for all ages.
Admission to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
9/11 Tribute Museum: Gallery Admission & Walking Tour
A particular strength of this attraction lies in the walking tour, which is guided by someone with a personal connection to the 9/11 attacks, such as a first responder, a survivor, or a family member. The walking tour is included with a New York City Explorer Pass.
The tour emphasizes the human element of this tragedy, and chooses to focus on the legacies of those who lost their lives rather than the political or social motivations for the event itself. A visit there is an opportunity to be inspired by their strength of character, and by the lives they’ve continued to touch after their passing. It’s a truly moving experience.
This museum offers another perspective, with opportunities for travelers to learn about the devastating events of 9/11, facts on the unprecedented rescue operations, and the subsequent reconstruction of Lower Manhattan. Visitors will also have the opportunity to listen to personal stories from volunteer curators, who include firefighters, police officers, and survivors.
Here are the available exhibits at the museum:
- Lower Manhattan: This small strip of land has served as a connection for people all over the world that engage in the trade of good and services and exchange of ideas that transform the world, on a local and international level.
- September 11, 2001 Gallery: Exclusive video footage shows the devastating after effects of the attack that forever changed our nation. The gallery also features photographs, artifacts, and audio-visual accounts of that day.
- Response and Recovery Gallery: This gallery highlights the brave efforts and sacrifices made by first responders and others who came to assist in the aftermath of the attacks.
- Story Telling Gallery: Here you’ll find moving stories from the families that lost their loved ones, as well as narratives from NYPD, FDNY, volunteers, and others.
- Remembrance Room: This is a striking space, housing over 2000 images that were chosen by family members to create a memorial for their loved ones.
- Rebuilding and Remembering Gallery: This gallery traces the efforts of a community and a nation that worked towards rebuilding and healing.
- Service to the World: Inspired in turn by the generosity and kindness with which the rest of the nation and the world treated NYC following the attacks, this exhibit space devotes itself to repaying those sentiments.
- Seeds of Service Gallery: This is a chance for visitors to offer support through donations and skills, and change our global community for the better.
This museum is appropriate for visitors of all ages, but parents should exercise caution with younger children in the September 11, 2001 Gallery. Some of the images may be too graphic or unsettling.
Admission to the 9/11 Tribute Museum: Gallery Admission & Walking Tour is available on the New York City Explorer Pass.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop (GZMW): Hands-On 9/11 Tour
Located in the Meatpacking District, this award-winning museum workshop is perhaps the best option for families looking for a chance to engage their children in a meaningful learning process about the 9/11 attacks. Rather than focusing on the events of 9/11, this workshop chose to showcase the 9-month recovery period after the attack.
Stories are told through artifacts, images, and audio tours available in English, French, Spanish, and Italian. A particular benefit of this attraction is that the museum workshop is the only 9/11-themed museum that gives visitors a chance to interact with and hold real artifacts.
Each tour at the Ground Zero Museum Workshop includes a guided encounter with artifacts introduced by a guide, a short film, and a self-guided audio tour for everyone. To make the audio tour realistic, the creators included sound effects from a Ground Zero video in 2001.
Admission to the Ground Zero Museum Workshop: Hands-On 9/11 Tour is available on the New York City Explorer Pass.