Visit the National 9/11 Memorial with your family
Fri Sep 16 2011
Photograph: Lee Magill
While the city is already home to a number of September 11 memorials where parents can bring their children to teach them about the events of the day and reflect on their meaning, the new National 9/11 Memorial is much more than just another monument: It's the site of all that happened in New York City that day. As such, visiting it is a profoundly different, and moving, experience. Families can expect kind and helpful staff members to answer questions throughout Memorial Plaza; some are carrying iPads with which to assist visitors in locating specific names of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attack, or in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. (Computer kiosks, located near the south waterfall, are also available for the same purpose.) All 2,983 names are engraved on bronze panels surrounding the site's two giant waterfalls, built right in the footsteps of the World Trade Center towers, and are grouped in categories such as Flight 93, First Responders and World Trade Center. Since one must reserve tickets in advance, only a certain number of visitors are allowed into the memorial at one time, meaning families won't encounter crowds that might in any way suggest a tourist attraction. In addition to taking in the rushing falls within each square, kids are bound to connect with the Survivor Tree, a tree found at the site in the wake of the attack that was nursed back to health over subsequent years. It is perhaps the most poignant symbol of the humanity and sense of community that arose in the aftermath of September 11. Memorial Plaza, enter at Albany St at Greenwich St (911memorial.org). Tickets must be reserved in advance through the memorial's website.