Never forget the event that changed everything, sixteen years ago today.
The image is of the World Trade Center, also known as the Twin Towers, before Sept. 11, 2011.
The footprint of each two building are now large empty spaces with huge waterfalls, symbolizing the empty hole in our hearts that will never be filled and the endless tears we shed over the people and the way of life we lost that day.
The waterfalls also are bordered with the names of the 3,000+ victims who perished that day, and the names of the First Responders who have died since from ugly and horrible illnesses that can be traced to the toxins they breathed from working “The Pile” for weeks and months to find human remains.
The 9/11 Memorial is FREE and open to the public with no tickets needed.
The National September 11 Museum at the World Trade Center has an admission charge that ranges from free for 9/11 families and First Responders to $24 for adults.
Click here for information on how to get tickets to the National September 11 Museum and plan your visit.
Both the 9/11 Memorial and the National September 11 Museum are closed this morning, of Sept. 11 for the annual remembrance ceremony.
Note that as a born and lifelong New Yorker, I will never ever call this place Ground Zero. It was, is and will always be the World Trade Center.
The 9/11 Plaza isn’t the only place in NYC which honors the victims and the First Responders. Here are some other memorials you can visit any day, not just on Sept. 11:
Firefighters Memorial Park: This is across the street from the FDNY firehouse which lost 15 members, the most of any in the city. The memorial fountain, at Ritz Plaza, 225 W. 48th St., is inscribed with the names of all the names of the Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 members lost.
Police Memorial Wall: The names of NYPD members who died in the attacks, and those who have died since of 9/11-related illnesses, are engraved on a granite wall in a corner of the Battery Park City Esplanade.
FDNY Memorial Wall at Engine 10 Ladder 10: This 56-foot long memorial, at 124 Liberty St., in the shadow of the WTC, is dedicated to the 300+ firefighters who died responding to the attacks.
Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance: These three granite walls are engraved with images of human and K-9 First Respondrs who died in the attacks.
American Veterans Memorial Pier: This bronze sculpture is dedicated to the Brooklyn residents who were killed in the attack. The statue is shaped like a speaking trumpet, which fire engines used to use to warn people in the days before before electronic horns. Bay Ridge Avenue at Shore Road, Brooklyn.
9/11 Tribute Park: A gazrebo with a stained glass dome honors the 70 residents of Rockaway who died in the attacks. The small park, at Beach Channel Drive and Beach 116th St. also contains a piece of WTC steel.
St. Paul’s Chapel: Remarkably, this Revolutionary Era church, a few blocks from the Twin Towers, where George Washington attended services, survived the attacks with no damage. One corner of the chapel contains hundreds of badges and other memorabilia from hundreds of First Responder groups from around the world who came here to help in those dark days after 9/11.
This article was posted originally on Sept. 11, 2013, and is updated annually.