With Kleenex and counselors on hand, New York City’s National September 11 Memorial Museum was ready to open its doors.
26 uniformed police officers and firefighters marched onto the lawn of the memorial, holding the flag that flew adjacent to Ground Zero during the weeks following the attacks.
The flag was donated by the New York Says Thank You foundation, an organization dedicated to transforming the 9/11 anniversary into a positive platform for national volunteer service. The organization is dedicated to paying it forward, and remembering the acts of kindness following September 11th.
“Kids, kids, today is a very important day. We’re here to remember, pay tribute, and learn about what happened on 9/11. But we’re also here to remember, pay tribute, and to learn about what happened on 9/12,” founder and chairman of New York Says Thank You Foundation, Jeff Parness said during the opening. “People from all around the world came here to help us in our time of need.”
The museum doors opened at 9:00am, letting in a stream of tourists, wishing to pay their respects and witness an indelible part of American history, yet again.
Even with the $24 entrance fee, all 7,000 tickets sold-out completely for the first day, and have limited availability through the week. The museum plans to allow 5,000-8,000 tickets per day. Relatives of victims and rescue workers may enter for free.
The museum holds some 12,500 objects, 1,995 oral histories and 590 hours of film and video related to the September 11th, 2001 attacks. It is meant to serve as a memorial that reminds people of the national tragedy, yet doesn’t bring up deeply painful memories
Last Thursday, President Barack Obama marked the dedication of the long-awaited memorial museum along with families, survivors and rescuers present at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
The President told the crowd that the museum will remind generations to come of the sacrifices of the day and demonstrates “a nation that stands tall and united and unafraid because no act of terror can match the strength or the character of our country.”