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IN PICS: 9/11 Memorial set to open on WTC site

Last updated on: September 8, 2011 09:37 IST

IN PICS: 9/11 Memorial set to open on WTC site

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Yoshita Singh in New York

A decade after the Twin Towers were razed to the ground in the 9/11 attacks, an altered Ground Zero will be unveiled to the public, with waterfalls, reflecting pools and hundreds of trees at the site honouring the memory of the nearly 3000 victims of the terror strike.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked citizens to refer to the new WTC site as the 9/11 Memorial and not as 'Ground Zero' any more. The '9/11 Memorial' is located at the site of the former World Trade Centre complex in lower Manhattan and occupies approximately half of the 16-acre area.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will dedicate the memorial in a ceremony on Sunday and it will open to the public on September 12.

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Image: The south pool waterfall is tested as work continues on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site in New York
Photographs: MIKE Segar/Reuters
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"We will never forget the devastation of the area that came to be known as 'Ground Zero'. Never. But the time has come to call those 16 acres what they are: The World Trade Center and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum," Bloomberg said.

 A 104-storey '1 World Trade Center', 40-storey '4 World Trade Center' and '7 World Trade Center' have been constructed at the site.  The memorial has twin reflecting pools, each nearly an acre in size, and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.

 The pools sit within the footprints where the twin towers once stood.  The memorial's design was selected by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker from global competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.

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Image: A journalist speaks on his phone as he looks down at the September 11 Memorial behind him during an event to update the public on the pace of development at the World Trade Center site in New York
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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Inscribed on bronze panels edging the pools are the names of every person who died in the 2001 attacks in New  York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon as well as the six people killed in the February 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.

The theme of the pools is 'reflecting absence'. The site also has the 'Survivor Tree', a pear tree that was rescued from the WTC site after the terrorist attacks. The tree was taken to a nursery in the Bronx near here and was replanted late last year at the memorial site.

More than 400 trees will be planted at the memorial plaza, considered to be one of the most eco-friendly sites. Crews selected and harvested the trees from within a 500-mile radius of WTC, locations in Pennsylvania and near Washington - the site of the attacks.

The trees would surround the two pools, conveying a spirit of "hope and renewal'.  Apart from the memorial, work continues on a '9/11 Museum', which will open on the next 9/11 anniversary in 2012.

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Image: A view of the World Trade Center North Tower memorial pool
Photographs: Susan Walsh/Reuters
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The Museum would display artifacts associated with the events of 9/11 and focus on the "human dimension of history by narrating the personal stories behind these events."

"By demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and communities, it is our hope that the National September 11 Memorial Museum can embody the promise of a world in which it should be impossible for people to go to work in the morning only to get caught in the vortex of terrorism," Vice President for Programmes, Memorial Museum Alice Greenwald Executive said.

Artifacts on display at the museum would include photographs, audio and video tapes, recorded testimonies, digital files, recovered property, clothing, workplace memorabilia, incident-specific documents and original writings including letters, e-mails and diaries that would help illuminate people's experiences during and after the September 2001 and February 1993 attacks.

Image: A fire helmet belonging to Fire Chief Joseph Pfeifer is seen in this photograph before becoming a part of memorial. Pfeifer, along with the rest of Ladder 1, survived that day. His brother did not.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
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