A visit to the 9/11 Memorial site in New York City is a must if you are visiting the city or even if you live here. Just a little over one decade later, the Ground Zero tribute plaza is nearly complete with the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, 1 World Trade Center (formerly called the Freedom Tower), and two thought-provoking reflecting pools created to honor victims and families who lost loved ones. Here are a few suggestions for ways to view the Memorial, Museum, Tower and construction in progress:
The 9/11 Memorial is designed around twin reflecting pools where the Twin Towers once stood. Surrounding the pools and inscribed into bronze panels are the names of every person who died in the attacks. Important, meaningful, and beautifully haunting in its simplicity, the Memorial is a lasting tribute to an event that changed our country’s history forever. Although 1 World Travel Center is still under construction, its rise into the Manhattan skyline makes for a dramatic sight. Advance visitor passes to the 9/11 Memorial are required so book your tickets ahead of time for the specific date and time that you plan to visit. Passes are free and available at www.911memorial.org. A limited number of passes are also available for same-day visits, first-come, first-served.
World Yacht’s Freedom Lunch Cruise:
For a more extensive and fully planned viewing of the 9/11 Memorial Site, the Freedom Lunch Cruise may be the way to go. Every Saturday, beginning in April, World Yacht will be offering a combination cruise on the Hudson River with a lunch buffet and a visit to lower Manhattan. A ticket to the 9/11 Memorial is included. The cruise ends at Pier 81, 41st Street and West Side Highway. Prices are $69.15/adults and $36.21/children. Boarding begins at 11:30am, with sailing until 3:00pm. To purchase tickets online, view menu options and availability check out www.worldyacht.com.
If you’re looking for downtown accommodations, the newly opened World Center Hotel at the southern edge of the World Trade Center Memorial has spectacular views of the memorial and the Freedom Tower. Memorial Passes are also available through the hotel. Book at www.worldcenterhotel.com. Another great hotel worth checking out for unrestricted, aerial views of the Memorial is the Hilton Millenium Hotel on Church Street, which is a part of the WTC Rebuild project. Book at http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/NYCMLHH-Millenium-Hilton-New-York/index.do.
Although its official opening date is set for September 2012, visitors can new view inside the enormous glass atrium and steel structures. The museum will host an exhibition of the history leading up to the attack as well as collected memorabilia and donated artifacts. The most profound addition to the museum will be the memorial wall, featuring portraits of those who were lost and collected remnants of the Towers. More information can be found at www.911memorial.org.