Updated 09/12/2011 06:44 PM
9/11 memorial open to public
In New York City, the hollowed out footprints and twisted metal that once were the twin towers have been replaced with a grove of trees and two memorials honoring those lost on that terrible day. The names of the nearly three thousand people that were killed in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 9/11 are inscribed in bronze on panels that surround two fountains. The memorial opened to the public for the first time Monday. Our Roger Clark has more.
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NEW YORK, N.Y. -- As the first visitors made their way into the memorial Monday morning, they were greeted by the Mayor, other city officials and some who lost loved ones on 9/11. Visitors were there from around the world.
Memorial President Joe Daniels said, "I think today we are going to have 33 countries represented and 46 states, we've got to find out those four states that aren't coming today and see if we can get them on, but it is an absolute reflection that this is a place that will bring people together."
The September 11th Memorial welcomed family members Sunday for the 10th Anniversary Ceremony, but Monday the public was allowed in to view the giant reflecting pools and waterfalls, and to see the names of those killed on that day inscribed into bronze panels surrounding the pools.
A memorial visitor said, “You kind of think back to what they went through so it was a little emotional on that part."
Another visitor said, "All those names represent a soul, and we just have to remember that just to keep them in our prayers and their families."
Another memorial visitor expressed, "It's more than I expected, I really didn't think they would do this good, but leave it to New York, they done great."
These are just the reactions Memorial Architect Michael Arad had hoped for.
Memorial Architect, Michael Arid said, "It felt so gratifying to see people embrace this memorial and feel comforted by it and take their family pictures next to it, touch the names, it just felt like it was always here."
Now that the memorial is welcoming the public, the next step is to open the museum, which is expected to happen in a year.
The memorial is free to see but you need to make a reservation, as hundreds of thousands of people already have.
For more information you can visit the website at 911memorial.org..