For the longest time, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty have been on the priority lists of places to visit for countless visitors to the Big Apple. Now, many of travelers are considering another spot to add: The National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
September 11, 2001 is definitely a memorable date for most people around the globe, as the world witnessed the awful terror attacks on some of the most important buildings in the United States. Though news channels around the world did not fail to mention that the people behind the attacks targeted multiple key structures on the East Coast, most of the attention went to the two passenger jets crashing into the twin towers known as the World Trade Center. Thousands of people were slain, and the buildings collapsed into an awful heap of rubble and death.
Before the memorial opened, construction workers and other personnel with related responsibilities were the only ones authorized to enter the area which was secured by a tall fence. Tourists had to walk to specific high spots around the square to take a picture or just a peek at what was going on inside the compound. The nearby FDNY Station was open all that time for those who wanted to see more on what transpired during and after the attacks.
More than 10 years have passed since the attacks, and what was popularly known as 'Ground Zero' has now turned into a memorial plaza, sections of which were opened for visitors on September 12, 2011. Even if construction is still going on in some areas of the landmark, and mandatory security checkpoints were put in place, this has not deterred droves after droves of tourists from paying a visit. Officials in charge of the memorial have records stating that the tourists came from all over the United States and from at least 120 countries around the world.
As of December 2011, a policy requiring visitors to reserve tickets (free of charge) has been kept in place to regulate the number of people inside. Once inside visitors will be free to walk around a plaza covered with trees, and to see the two huge pools that were constructed right where the twin towers once stood. These pools are bordered by waterfalls. One feature which every visitor will definitely notice is the walls where the names of those who died during the attacks on September 11, 2001 were engraved. In addition to these near three thousand victims listed, visitors will also be able to see the names of those slain during the terrorist bombings that occurred during February 26, 1993. The museum and an underground section are scheduled for completion and opening in 2012.
Though the actual complex is far from completion, the areas which are already open have been attracting as much as ten thousand people every day. If tourists keep dropping by at that rate, it won't be long until the National September 11 Memorial and Museum matches other prominent landmarks in New York City in terms of high numbers of visitors.