We decided to visit the 9/11 Memorial and the Museum right next to it.
After downloading the audio-guide-app (German available!) via the free wifi we started the tour – and underground we went. A large ramp takes you further down and one of the first things you see is the massive concrete wall which was build to hold the Hudson’s water out and stabilize the Twin Towers. Further down a staircase, via which alot of people escaped, was exhibited, and we walked further down just next to it on normal stairs. Having come to the lowest level of the museum, the structure of the museum becomes clear. From down here, the visitors are standing below the two waterbasins of the 9/11 memorial, and the remains of the steel joists can been seen on the floor, once holding the massive towers, now nothing but flat squares on the ground.
There are two exhibiton halls, one under each water basin, and some exhibits are outside of those, like a firetruck that was severely damaged and several pieces of steel joists from different parts of the towers. Also, the last steel joist to be removed from Ground Zero in an emotional ceremony, can be seen here. The gallery underneath the south tower water basin shows pictures about all victims of 9/11 and one can listen to their stories from their families and friends. Out of respect there are no photos to be taken in this part of the museum. Underneath the north tower water basin, the exhibition takes you back to 9/11 and outlines every aspect and every event of the day in precision. I found this section particularly emotional, because the pictures and videos make the day really lively again, and I still remember how I came home after school that day and sat in front of the TV all day long.
I must say, the museum is really beautiful and respecfully designed, and I think it is a great place for remembering. The entire time of the visit I had a somewhat strange feeling of being a museum of an event which I can remember and seing the remains of the steel joists like an archaeological site was really overwhelming. I also remembering seing Ground Zero when I visited New York City in 2005, and it was just a giant whole back then.
9/11 Memorial Website: www.911memorial.org