Why Was the 9/11 Memorial Built? Amazing Tour To the Memorial

11 mins read
why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by Lars Mulder/ pexels/ Copyright 2020



We all remember well the date 9/11, on which one of the biggest and deadliest terrorist attacks in the history of America took place. No one can forget the horrifying sights of that day. The survivors still feel haunted by even a mere thought of that day. Let us discuss Why was the 9/11 memorial built? About the World trade center complex, the attack that took place, how architects came to build the memorial plaza, and the tour guide.

1. Why Was the 9/11 Memorial Built?

9/11 Memorial & Museum is a heritage site built on the site of the World Trade Center, where one of the scariest historical attacks occurred. The one that New York people can never forget. Before talking about why was the 9/11 Memorial built, let us know about World Trade Center.

1.1. About – World Trade Center

why was the 9/11 memorial built
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Located in Manhattan, New York, near the shore of the Hudson River, the complex comprised seven buildings around a central plaza. It serves as the central facility for international trading worldwide, for business or government purposes. To know to find out more about skyscraper buildings in NYC.

The original World Trade Center was spread over around 16 acres of area comprised of approx. 430 business offices that were from all over the world. Before the 9/11 attack, it was famous for the presence of two 110-story buildings at the complex that came to be known as the “Twin Towers.” The World Trade Center had north and south towers such that one in the North tower and two in the South tower provided the office area to approx. 430 businesses of around 10 million square feet.

Let us find out the reason why was the 9/11 memorial built.

2. What Happened On 9/11?

why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by David Mark/ pixabay/ Copyright 2013

It is essential first to know all the incidents that took place on 9/11 to get an idea of why was the 9/11 memorial built. On September 11in the year 2001, the deadliest terrorist attack in history was taken place in New York City, Manhattan. Four commercial planes were hijacked by the 19 terrorists that belonged to the Islamic terrorist group known as al-Qaida. These planes were taking off from Boston, Massachusetts.

A total of four planes were hijacked, and two intentionally crashed into the Twin Towers that were famous north and south towers. One of the planes, United Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the north tower, taking many lives instantly with unknown numbers of people inside the building. The other plane United Airlines Flight 175, attacked the south tower, and many lives were lost there too.

why was the 9/11 memorial built
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The third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, which was very close to Washington, D.C. United Airlines Flight 77 was the one that took the lives of about 189 people that were on the plane and in the Pentagon. Whereas the fourth plane United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into Pennsylvania in the open grounds of Shanksville called Somerset County.

About 2996 lives were lost that day, and for security, American airlines were banned from flying for two days to recover the loss and clean up the mess. This immediately affected the country’s GDP, which was reduced by 0.5% that year, and increased unemployment.

At that time President of America was George W. Bush, and he announced a prize worth $25 million to the providing leading trial for Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of 9/11. After years of search and hard work, finally, on May 2, 2011, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the Naval force of America captured and shot him dead, taking revenge for that dreadful incident.

Now, let us discuss why was the 9/11 memorial built and its significance.

3. Significance Of the 9/11 Memorial

why was the 9/11 memorial built
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The 9/11 Memorial & Museum was built to pay tribute to the martyrs and remember the ones who lost their lives in the attack of September 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the February 26, 1993, World Trade Center bombing.

The National September 11 Memorial’s significance is to ensure that the country never forgets about the first responders who gave up their lives to clean up the mess and protect every possible life they can. The memorial site reaffirms respect and preserves the freedom fighters’ names engraved on the slurry wall of the Memorial. It provides a reminiscing visit to the victim’s families who lost their beloved ones that day.

World Trade Center buildings fell in just ten seconds after the plane crashed and left everyone inside it to die helplessly in the blink of an eye. The physical void left in the hearts of the family members of victims from that day can not be filled by any means, but it can be provided with a relief of the presence of their beloved ones somewhere inside the Memorial. It shows the human spirit that whatever comes before us, we all will fight back with even more strength.

These are the reasons why was the 9/11 memorial built so that all the martyrs remain alive in the hearts of all Americans.

3.1. International Competition

After knowing why was the 9/11 memorial built, get more information about how and who built the 9/11 memorial. The National September 11 Memorial competition was organized by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), an international competition to finalize the Memorial’s design under architect Daniel Libeskind’s specifications.

In this competition, 63 nations and 49 states participated and submitted more than five thousand entries each based on individual architect’s interpretation to fulfil the requirements that the organizers asked, that is, the portrayal of tower footprints, recognition of every victim and martyr of the attack, final resting place for the one who remained anonymous.

On April 10, 2003, thirteen member jury was selected, and on April 28, 2003, the competition was announced, and registrations were opened till May 29. The entries were allowed from June 9 to June 30. LMDC announced eight finalists on November 19 that were entitled as follows:

  1. Votives in Suspension
  2. Suspending Memory
  3. Lower Waters
  4. Garden of Lights
  5. Passages of Light: Memorial Cloud
  6. Inversion of Light
  7. Dual Memory
  8. Reflecting Absence

On January 6, 2004, a design presented by Israeli American architect Michael Arad along with his partner architect Peter Walker who was a landscape architect, came up with their design called Reflecting Absence and won the competition.

3.2. Design – Reflecting Absence

The design interpreted all the required guidelines perfectly and justified why was the 9/11 memorial built. It has everything that made the September 11 Memorial Museum a place to preserve freedom. To mark the Twin Towers’ footprints, there are recessed pools and large void spaces. The street-level park above the Memorial and the rows of deciduous trees, the swamp white Oaks, form informal clusters.

The parapets are engraved with the names of victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 and the World Trade Center site bombing in 1993 that are surrounded by a waterfall. The slurry wall was the one that survived the attack of 9/11 and hence was preserved as a heritage. It is the retaining wall that symbolizes determination and survival.

It is an underground museum with more than half of its part being underground that has an entrance ramp of 70 feet down to the foundation hall. The Last Column was a 36-foot-high piece of steel. The authorities distributed the original World Trade Center steel as a souvenir. Also, the Museum contains thousands of artefacts such as wrecked emergency vehicles and audio files like media footage from the attack till clean up. The image of the partially collapsed building, the Twin Towers, is visible in the entry pavilion.

4. Tour – 9/11 Memorial & Museum

why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by jovannig/ unlimphotos/ Copyright

The tour of the National September 11 memorial & Museum explains all related to why was the 9/11 memorial built. Let us see and know more about how it is designed and what are different symbolizations.

4.1. Memorial Pools

The two pools are the main focus of the Memorial that displays the footprints of the north and south towers, around one acre each in space. It has the most powerful manufactured waterfall in North America and represents the “absence made visible,” according to the architect Michael Arad.

In total, 2,983 people’s names are engraved on the parapets. A system known as “meaningful adjacencies” is used to group the names of victims of the attacks to engrave their names according to the same crew, passenger, or situation.

Why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by Swan/ pixabay/ Copyright 2015

4.2. Memorial Glade

This southwestern area of the memorial plaza is dedicated to the one who suffered from post-attack toxic reactions. Those who played the role of first responders, like rescue and recovery workers, made all the cleanup effort and made it possible for the country’s people to escape the horrific sights of the attack. The Manhattan residents, like workers, students, and more, lend their hands in this cleanliness drive and help bring peace again.

It symbolizes the persistent and determined nature of everyone who worked hard to clean up at level zero and contributed to rebuilding everything all over again. It has six giant stone monoliths containing pathway that presents strength through adversity.

4.3. Survivor Tree

The emblem of resilience and perseverance came to be known as the survivor tree, which was damaged adversely during the attack of 9/11 and found in bad condition by the front workers of Manhattan while cleaning up the area. The tree was Callery Pear Tree which was removed from the site and brought back to its original place in 2010 after getting treatment and being healthy.

The crash sites of the 9/11 attack were gifted by nature via the presence of hardy species of tree called the swamp white oak trees. The Recreation Department of New York City is to be thanked for doing so. It was them who maintained and took care of the survivor tree.

4.4. Audio Guide

The one who wants to explore and learn about why was the 9/11 memorial built, every fact related to it, its design, and about the victims of the attack can use this fantastic facility that provides 40 minutes of audio tour app to you about everything present and happened at the World Trade Center. It narrates from the north pool to the south pool and returns to the entrance of the Memorial Museum.

The narrator of this audio is Anthoula Katsimatides, a citizen of New York City brother of one of the victims of the attack named John, who was killed on 9/11. It gives you the experience of people who were honored at the September 11 memorial and what they were the lives before the 9/11 attack.

Outstanding features of an audio tour guide are:

  1. Options that allow users to set the speed, replay, pause, and play according to their needs.
  2. It provides a map facility to provide easy navigation access.
  3. You can change its font size and color that suits you best.
  4. Zoom-in and zoom-out display features provide minor details of the Memorial and a comprehensive angle view to provide its vicinity and measurements.
  5. Visual description at every stop.

5. Timings and Ticket Pricing

why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by Alexa/ pixabay/ Copyright 2018

5.1. For Memorial

  • Entry is FREE.
  • Everyday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5.2. For Museum

  • Entry fee according to Museum Admission and Tour
  • Monday Admission Tickets: FREE
  • Tuesday: CLOSED

5.3. Important Points To Be Considered

  • Entry Tickets for the Museum can be purchased six months prior.
  • Entry ticket includes all available exhibition entries as well.
  • No entry is allowed after the last 90 minutes before closing.
  • Children under the age of 7 years have FREE entry passes, although an entry ticket is MUST.
  • Masks and coverings are appreciated though not mandatory.
  • Free Monday Admission Tickets are available. (According to Eastern Time Zone).

6. Learning Programs By 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Entry Tickets for the Museum provide online courses to strengthen people’s knowledge about the attack of 9/11 and why was 9/11 memorial built through various online resource supplements. One can enroll in any of the three programs depending on one’s requirements:

  1. Public Programs: It provides a platform to discuss the ongoing issues and impacts of the attacks. Also, the situation’s aftermath and the historical contexts connected to the attack. On November 15, 2022, the online public program was organized on the topic: Assessing the Threat: Counterterrorism 21 Years After 9/11 was held in the presence of White House Homeland Security Advisor Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Its main focus was on security and safety measures needed to make a safer place for companies, cities, and nations.
  2. Students and Teachers: It provides various advanced technologies and tools to make everyone understand what happened on 9/11 and how the country copes. It provides the following plans:
    • Virtual field trips (free for New York’s students and teachers)
    • Lesson plans that provide access to ask any queries one might have.
    • On the occasion of the 9/11 anniversary, every year, an interactive session is organized that allows anyone to ask questions directly to the memorial staff and guest speakers.
    • Webinars that provide real-life experiences of any survivor or the one from the victim’s family to share their difficulties and story.
    • Teacher workshops are also held to provide them with all the correct and best information so they can easily pass it on to the students.
    • Teen Ambassador Program provides the best opportunity for high school students to know all the insights of the Memorial, along with a handsome stipend.
  3. Youth and Families: This plan provides a collaborative approach to learning and discussing the topics related to the 9/11 attack or other terrorist attacks today so that students can easily better understand and start knowing about terrorism. This will help them understand why was the 9/11 memorial built and what its history was.

7. Contribution of First Responders

why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by David Mark/ pixabay/ Copyright 2013

The first responders play an important role in cleaning up the post-attack mess and help out citizens to get back to safe places. The rescue and recovery operations were carried out by the militants, rescue team, firefighters, and others.

They ensure everyone’s safety and health but does anyone thinks about what happens to their health? When a normal person sees an accident and blood coming out of someone they get fainted or feel scared for days or even months. So, just for once think of these front warriors who fight from the front to save us and witness such horrible sites that one could never even wants to imagine.

These horrific sights put them into post-traumatic situations in which they suffer mentally. They could not take their minds off the site of the attack. The cries of babies, the dead bodies, and every distorted image comes to their mind and haunts them for a long. Exposure to pollution, toxic gases, and chemicals affect them physically.

The government should provide them free health services such as body checkups and psychiatric help. So that they could recover fast from the situation and feel free. This is also one of the reasons why was the 9/11 memorial built so that all the workers who contributed can be remembered and paid respect.

why was the 9/11 memorial built
Image by jovannig/ unlimphotos/ Copyright

Suggesting Reading: why was the 9/11memorial built

8. Note

Such memorials are built on the sites of the incident in memory of those who lost their lives and property in that attack. Why was the 9/11 memorial built to symbolize many aspects that no one would have considered if such a place did not exist? It shows us how people, after the attack united to fight back together against immorality. People lost their everything in just a blink of an eye and were left with scars for the rest of life. So now you get why was the 9/11 memorial built.

The significance of memorials is to remember all the martyrs and their contributions. One must visit and pay tribute to the ones who gave up on their lives to protect ours, for those soldiers and police officers who stand with us in such situations and fight from the front to protect us.

Visit and pay tribute to the martyrs of the 9/11 attack and learn a lot more about the attack and rescue operation. Schools and colleges should take students on excursion visits to the Memorial so that the new generation can gain knowledge and pay respect to their supporters and saviors. To know more about the country’s superheroes.

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USA Tales has content written by niche experts, travelers, students, and those with real-life experience. Our content is also periodically reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure content accuracy and relevancy. Have a question? Email us at team@usatales.com

Bhoomika Singh

Pursuing Bachelors in Computer Science from Delhi University. A Content Writer at Icytales. An anime artist and a member of Delhi University's Fine Arts Society, Maniera.

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