Every country has its dark hours, for London, there was the London Blitz of World War 2, and for America, there was the Raid on Pearl Harbor (where the Pearl Harbor Museum is today). Deeper in America's history, there was the Trail of Tears as the native Indians were expelled past the Mississippi. But perhaps nothing in America's history is as raw and painful as 9/11. This September is to be the 20th anniversary of those horrendous attacks on New York City, and it will be a time of remembering the lives lost and of introspection of that fateful date that so shook the world.
Today, the site is a memorial and a museum and they should be visited by anyone visiting New York City. The mood is heavy and somber but it is important to always remember.
The Survivor Tree
Also at the memorial is the Callery Pear tree called the "Survivor Tree." This tree was recovered from the rubble at the time it was 8 feet tall. It had survived but it was badly burned with only one living branch remaining. The Survivor Tree has become a symbol of hope and rebirth and it reminds us of the human spirit and its capacity to endure. Having been planted elsewhere, it has not been returned to the site. There it joins six other "survivor trees".
- Survivor Tree: The Survivor Tree Represents The Hope And Resilience Of The Human Spirit
The 20th Anniversary Service
Despite the grief in the wake of the attack, America was unified and resilient. Today the 9/11 Memorial & Museum is a beacon of healing and renewal in the heart of New York City. The names of 2,983 victims are inscribed on 152 bronze parapets (this includes six killed in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings).
- Anniversary: It Will Be 20 years
Last year, the reading of the 2,983 names that are etched in bronze will once more be read aloud by their family members. Last year they were pre-recorded due to the pandemic.
The September 11 Memorial & Museum will be holding a 9/11 family-only memorial service. It will run from around 8.30 am to 1.00 pm on the Memorial Plaza. The names that are to be read are both of the 9/11 victims and of the earlier 1993 World Trade Center bombing. All of these names are permanently etching into the bronze memorial.
- Times: Service Runs From 8:30 am to around 1:00 pm
During the service, there are to be six moments of silence. Each moment of silence is to mark the moments that those airplanes struck the World Trade Center towers, and then as each of the towers fell, and the striking of the Pentagon, and the crash of the hijacked Flight 93 in Pennsylvania. The organizers are asking for churches and other places of worship to toll their bells.
- Number Of Moments of Silence: 6
- Time of The First Silence: 8:46 am
Allowing The Anniversary To Be Reserved For Loved Ones
For those looking to visit the memorial and the museum, in general, the anniversary is not a good time. The whole site will just be for the families of those lost during the ceremony. Afterward, the memorial grounds will open to the public, but the museum will remain closed only for the family's of the victims this day.
- Family Member Tickets: Family Members Can Arrange Free Timed Tickets To The Museum
While the pandemic may not be as bad as 2020 (that disrupted last year's services), the pandemic is continuing to rage, fueled by the delta variant. It should be noted that this remains an evolving situation and organizers may be forced to adjust some of the events as the situation unfolds.
- Family Member Portal: See Here For The Family Member Portal
The Day After: An Uplifting Celebration
The 11th of September is to be a solemn occasion of remembrance. But the next day is to be very different. On the 12th of Sept, "The Daily Show" hosts Jon Stewart and the "SNL" star Pete Davidson will host "NYC Still Rising After 20 Years: A Comedy Celebration." Jon Stewart was one of the 9/11 first-responders and Pete Davidson's father was a firefighter who died responding to the raging infernos in the Towers. The comedy will be held at Madison Square Garden. This is a charity event with the proceeds being donated to 9/11 charities.
To get tickets to this event, the general tickets are available from Aug 13th at Ticketmaster.com.
- Note: All Guests Must Be Fully Vaccinated And Have an ID
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial site is not an easy thing to do. It makes for a somber and quiet mood. But it is one of the defining moments in America's history. It will forever be a memory of tragedies like Pearl Harbor, when the nation banded together and responded as one to overcome and survive.