The National September 11 memorial Museum will open on 5/21/14 to the public, but it first opened on 5/15/14 for family members, first responders, survivors, and recovery workers. The opening ceremonies featured President Obama, New York State Governor Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Christie as well as past government officials and dignitaries. The opening services were very moving, and featured stories of courage and inspiration. I asked Cynthia and Brian Branco, who attended the opening ceremonies for their thoughts and impressions. Brian is a survivor of the South Tower. Cynthia stated “it was an honor to be asked to attend the museum inaugural opening. We were absolutely moved by the ceremony, which included Florence Jones, (Brian worked with her and on September 11th in the South tower she was on the 78th floor and he was on the 77th.) The museum is impossible to describe because of its enormous scale and depth of content... can't see it all in one visit but it truly historically follows the events of the day, shows you the aftermath and destruction, brings hope with the rebirth and reconstruction and most importantly, honors those we lost.”
Although I thought I knew what to expect, the impact of what I saw at the museum was overwhelming. The artifacts speak for themselves, but the way in which the museum is arranged tells a story that the world needs to see and continue to hear. There is an interactive exhibit which features pictures of all of the victims lost in the attacks, and enables the visitors to hear the victim’s family or friend speak about their loved one. This is the essence of the museum’s purpose, to never forget.
Wendy Lanski, 9/11 Survivor, Tower 1, 29th Floor