How to Pay a Virtual Visit to the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum
Lady Liberty at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
CREDIT: 9/11 Memorial & Museum Foundation
The National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center was dedicated on the tenth anniversary of the event and opened to the public today (Sept. 12). The museum itself is under construction and scheduled to open in 2012.
For those who can't visit the 16-acre site, the Memorial and Museum Foundation has launched a website that includes video tours, a searchable database of the names of those who were lost and the names' exact placement in the memorial, and a comprehensive teaching resources section.
“We created the Memorial Guide to show the entire arrangement and the layers of meaning within it through technology,” Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the Foundation, wrote on the website.
The memorial also includes tributes to the six people who died from the bombing of the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993.
“Our mission is twofold: to create a memorial at the very site of the attacks, where people will come to honor those who died on Sept. 11 and reflect on the compassion and humanity evidenced in the aftermath of the attack,” Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the Foundation, wrote in his message to visitors. “And to create a Memorial Museum where people will not only examine 'what happened' on 9/11, but also the questions of 'why' and 'what does this mean for our future?'"
In addition to the website, the Foundation has launched a mobile app that includes a narrated seven-stop walking tour for visitors to the World Trade Tower site. The events of the day and its aftermath are told by first responders, rescue workers, volunteers, and those who lived and worked in lower Manhattan on 9/11 . While the tour is best experienced on site, the content can be accessed from anywhere.
Augmented reality has been built into the app as well, so people can take photos in the vicinity of the World Trade Tower site and receive additional information. All photos were contributed to the museum by survivors and witnesses. The app can be downloaded for free for the iPhone, Android phones and Windows-based phones.
Live images from the construction site at the memorial can be viewed via the site’s connection to EarthCam. The camera has been positioned high above the twin pools that mark the foundations of the towers. Users can refresh the image, zoom in and easily navigate the construction site.
For a view of the future, the Foundation has partnered with Google Earth to integrate a dimensionally accurate 3-D model of the memorial with satellite imagery of the surrounding city. Users must have the Google Earth plug-in installed on their computers to launch the virtual tour.
Find a name
Each of the 2,983 men, women and children who died as a result of the 9/11 attacks has been memorialized with a bronze plaque located around the two pools. An interactive section shows an animation of the pools with water flowing down their sides with a list of locations that correspond to the locations of the plaques.
For instance, the 87 people lost on Flight 11 are found on the northwest corner of the North Pool. Names appear in an alphabetical list. Each listing includes a photo of the victim, birth date and last words, if known.
The 9/11 site also contains audio files of survivors talking about their experiences.
From the moment FDNY Engine Co. 16 received the call to One World Trade Center to entering the stricken building, FDNY Lt. Mickey Kross, relates his experience.
“All this debris came down. It looked like a meteor,” Kross said. He entered the building and it began to shake. Later, he found out it was the South Tower collapsing.
“I heard this very loud noise above me. And then the wind, a very, very fierce wind that lifted me up. I crouched down and got as small as I could possibly get. I guess the best way to describe it is I tried to crawl into my fire helmet,” he said.
“I was angry. I was going to die at the World Trade Center on a beautiful summer morning?” he said. “It went dark, and then total silence.”
For those who wish to plan a visit to the memorial in Lower Manhattan, reservations are required. Reservations may be made online and families of survivors receive priority. Appointments are taken from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Most Saturday slots are filled through November.
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