Sunday, September 4, 2011

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum

May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, 
and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, 
which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve 
to preserve freedom, and inspire 
an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance. 
~ from the Mission Statement,
9/11 Memorial & Museum

One of the bronze memorial tablets by the reflecting pool. (Photo: 9/11 Museum)

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is being dedicated this September 11, the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. On September 12, it opens to the public. Its purpose: to fight terrorism and hate through memory and education. It's a big albeit worthy goal and the website is layered with plans of all sorts: some completed, some yet to come. 

Here is a brief tour:

In remembering the victims of the attacks and honoring those who went to their rescue, the Museum will explore the very real impact of terrorism in the lives of very real people, and their families, friends, colleagues and communities. As custodian of memory, the Museum will take on the mantle of moral authority that will define its continuing and evolving role. This Museum will do nothing less than underscore the absolute illegitimacy of indiscriminate murder.

The Museum is comprised of several parts. One is in its purpose to remember the victims of the attacks on September 11 and their responders.
Lady Liberty (Photo: Bruce White©)

The second part of the museum includes artifacts from the attack, a growing photo display to include all the victims of the attack, oral histories, and a selection of related memorabilia and tributes which are stunning in their variety and moving in their simple humanity. 

The tributes range from individual tributes to community tributes, and they come from all over – from New York City as well as from cities across the United States and across the globe.

One well-known tribute is the Lady Liberty tribute, a fiber glass replica of the Statue of Liberty. She was left in front of Engine 54/ Ladder 4/ Battalion 9 the week of the attacks. The station had lost 15 first first responders. After the mysterious statue appeared (artist and origin remain unknown), small tributes started appearing on the statue: small flags, badges, patches, pictures, ribbons, hand-written notes and more.

The Lady Liberty tribute can be explored in person or online. In and of itself, it is a powerful statement about the important and cathartic place of art and that most basic human need to express oneself as well as reach out to others. To view the Lady Liberty tribute online, click here and be sure to explore the individual images you will see as they include important details about the individual tributes that decorate her.

Other tributes in the museum include the "Dear Hero" collection, a collection of thank you's from children that included art work, candy, stuffed animals and hand-written notes; a 1,000 crane quilt; a beaded flower memorial wreath; and many, many more.

To explore the museum tributes online, click here.

Another part of the museum is dedicated to education about the September 11 attacks and beyond, about terrorism and hate, about the importance of helping others, about the place art has as a cathartic response to tragedy, and, of course, how to talk to children about these topics. 

To explore some of the lesson plans and educational goals, click here.

To visit, ya gotta plan ahead ...

Touring the Museum
Given the construction going on in the area for other World Trade Center projects, a pre-booked visitor's pass is required for visiting the museum and memorial.

To reserve passes, click here:

For directions, click here:

Dedicated to memory and to life ...
The National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center will bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The Museum will honor the nearly 3,000 victims of these attacks and all those who risked their lives to save others. It will further recognize the thousands who survived and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath. Demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at the local, national, and international levels, the Museum will attest to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity and affirm an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life
~ from the Mission Statement

Looking at the museum's plans to memorialize, to remember, and to educate, one song keeps running through my head: One Tribe by The Black Eyed Peas.

One tribe, ya'll.
We are one people.
Let's cast amnesia, forget about all that evil
... that evil that they feed ya.

One Tribe by The Black Eyed Peas (Video: justsayno2hate)
Well, I'm not so sure about the amnesia part as in "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." But as for the rest ...

Let it fly!

To find find out how to fly the flag and other flag etiquette, see USFlagstore's  Flag Etiquette 101 and USFlagstore's How to Fly the Flag at Half-Staff.

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