After nearly one billion dollars and several years of delays, the National September 11 Memorial Museum has been completed. A dedication ceremony will be held in New York City on Thursday.
The museum pays tribute to the victims of 9/11 and also the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Fox News’ Rick Leventhal, who reported from Ground Zero on the day of the attacks, gave viewers a preview tour of the museum.
When visitors enter the museum pavilion, they’ll pass by the tridents that were recovered from the North Tower. Directly behind the tridents is the tallest building in the United States – One World Trade Center.
Museum President Joe Daniels described it as “a perfect juxtaposition of rebirth and the resiliency of these two twin tridents being re-erected.”
From there, visitors descend underground to what’s left of the WTC foundation, framed by the slurry wall that held back the Hudson River during the attack. There, the last piece of steel removed from Ground Zero stands about 37-feet tall.
All around are reminders of how some people managed to escape, including a staircase that connected the plaza to Vesey Street.
Daniels said, “Hundreds of people on the day of 9/11 used this as an escape route. The story of survival and escape is a huge part of this experience and what happened.”
At the bottom of those stairs and behind a wall covered with blue tiles representing the 9/11 victims is an office for the New York Medical Examiner. The office contains a repository where unidentified remains of victims are being kept. They’ll be examined in hopes of identifying some of the remains.
Some families of the victims are protesting the museum’s decision to keep the unidentified remains in an underground exhibit. Retired FDNY Fire Chief Jim Riches, whose firefighter son was killed, believes the remains should be kept in the aboveground memorial that is free of charge.