(by Greg B. Smith, NY Daily News) – For the first time since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the long-awaited National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum will be open to victims’ families and first responders after Thursday’s anniversary ceremony.
Families of the victims and first responders will be able to visit the museum following the traditional reading of the names on the 13th anniversary event at the memorial plaza.
Also for the first time, the public will be allowed into the memorial after 6 p.m. On all the past anniversary days, the site has been shut down for the entire day.
The changes continue the gradual opening of the site, which is slowly coming to life after years of construction delays and cost overruns.
The year after the attack, mourners gathered in what was then called “Ground Zero” … At that time, the 16-acre site was a wasteland surrounded by buildings still damaged from the terrorists’ [attack].
Thirteen years later, One World Trade Center rises 1,776 feet in the air and is set to open this fall. Across the plaza, Four World Trade Center is scheduled to begin welcoming tenants in a few weeks.
The 9/11 Memorial opened in 2011 and the museum opened on May 15, 2014. The huge Transportation Hub with its spikey atrium is lumbering toward an anticipated mid-2015 opening.
On Wednesday, the night before the ceremony, the museum [was] closed to the public and opened from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to first responders and relatives of those who lost their lives in the 2001 and 1993 Trade Center attacks.
[Today], the ceremony will again feature the reading of the names of the 2,983 men, women and children who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania during the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
After a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. – the moment the first plane struck the North Tower – the reading will proceed, with a second pause at 9:03 a.m., the moment the second plane struck the South Tower.
There will be pauses at 9:37 a.m., when Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, at 9:59 a.m., when the South Tower fell, at 10:03 a.m., when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, and finally at 10:28 a.m., when the North Tower fell.
The Memorial will remain closed while families and first responders get access to the Museum after the ceremony. The entire plaza will then reopen from 6 p.m. until midnight, offering a closeup view of the Tribute of Light display a few blocks away – sending two beams skyward as a ghostly reminder of the Twin Towers.
Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from The New York Daily News.
1. What is the focus of the 9/11 commemoration at Ground Zero each year?
2. What changes are there this year regarding access to the site? Be specific.
3. What aspect of the actual ceremony will remain the same?
4. List the times proceedings will stop for moments of silence.
5. Answer the following questions about 9/11:
a) Who was President on 9/11?
b) Who was the mayor of New York City on 9/11?
c) How many planes were hijacked?
d) What three locations were the terrorists targeting? At what time did each one hit?
e) Who were the terrorists? (religion and terror group)
f) How many people died on 9/11?
g) Describe the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
6. Read the “Background” and visit some of the links under “Resources.” List 2-3 things you did not already know about 9/11 from this information that you think is important for all Americans to know.
September 11, 2001 (9/11):
- The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11) were a series of four suicide attacks committed by Muslim extremists against United States civilians on September 11, 2001, coordinated to strike the areas of New York City and Washington, D.C.
- On that Tuesday morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets.
- The hijackers intentionally piloted two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours.
- The hijackers also intentionally crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and intended to pilot the fourth hijacked jet, United Airlines Flight 93, into the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.; however, the plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers attempted to take control of the jet from the hijackers.
- Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 246 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes.
- Al-Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks.
- The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda.
- In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was located and killed. (from wikipedia)
Deaths: A total of 411 emergency workers died as they tried to rescue people and fight fires
- The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) lost 340 firefighters, a chaplain and 2 paramedics.
- The New York City Police Department (NYPD) lost 23 officers.
- The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers.
- Eight emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics from private emergency medical services units were killed.
At least 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths from the burning towers (as exemplified in the photograph The Falling Man), landing on the streets and rooftops of adjacent buildings hundreds of feet below.
Watch a live webcast of the commemoration ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City, starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on September 11, 2013 at: 911memorial.org.
Read about the attack on the World Trade Center at PentagonAttack911.com.
View one man’s story and pictures from 9/11 in New York at musarium.com/stories/america-attacked/berard/index.html.
Visit the Pentagon Memorial website at pentagonmemorial.org/learn/911-pentagon.
Visit the Shanksville, PA Memorial website at honorflight93.org.
September 11 TV News archive: archive.org/details/911
The September 11 Digital Archive: 911digitalarchive.org.
Visit the NYPD Facebook page at: facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.267910033285786.63767.262068223869967&type=1
Visit the NYFD Facebook page at: facebook.com/fdnyneverforget
On Sept. 11, 2002, President Bush proclaimed Sept 11th be observed as ‘Patriot Day’ usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/blpatriotsday.htm. (In 2009 President Obama renamed it ‘Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance’.)
Watch a USAA timeline of events on 9/11:
Daily “Answers” emails are provided for Daily News Articles, Tuesday’s World Events and Friday’s News Quiz.