by NICOLE CARDINALI Staff Writer
After 13 years of waiting and preparing, the 9/11 museum opened for families of victims, survivors, and first responders on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
During the dedication ceremony, politicians such as past and current presidents, governors, mayors, senators, survivors, and family members spoke about one artifact in the $700 million museum that touched them.
President Barack Obama told the story of a deceased young hero, Welles Crowther. Crowther saved the lives of many on September 11, 2001, and was distinguished by the red bandana he wore around his nose and mouth. His family donated a red bandana similar to the one he wore that day.
Florence Jones, a 9/11 survivor, spoke about the shoes she donated that she was wearing when she walked down 77 flights of the World Trade Center’s stairs to safety.
David Beamer, Todd Beamer’s father, spoke about the Rolex watch his son wore the day he helped take down hijacked Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, stopping the terrorists from reaching their initial target, Washington D.C. The watch will forever display the time that Beamer and his fellow passengers stormed the cockpit to turn the hijackers off-course.
“In doing so, they changed the course of history,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Many other inspirational and spiritual stories were told in a large room with folding chairs surrounding the Last Column.
The Last Column is a 36-foot beam of steel that helped support the inner part of the South Tower. It was the last beam recovered from Ground Zero. The Last Column is covered with sayings, tributes, and names of victims, survivors, family members, and first responders such as firefighters and policemen.
“I thought the beam was amazing. It shows all the raw emotions everyone felt right after the attacks,” freshman Priya Patel said.
After the ceremony, everyone there was free to explore the museum. The entrance to the exhibits is an eerily dark hall that brings you back to that very day. Projections of the attacks and reactions are shown with voices speaking of September 11, and how they remembered it, as well as their experiences of that day.
There is one room filled ceiling to floor with all the faces of those that perished on that tragic day. Families are able to search victims and look at pictures and voice recordings of memories recorded by loved ones projected in a room called the chamber.
“From the pictures I saw, the museum looks like a beautiful tribute and I hope everyone involved in that day finds peace from it,” freshman Carina Chiarella said.
Another room displayed the historical portion of September 11, 2001. News reports and newspapers from that day are shown everywhere. Artifacts donated and found are displayed, including a metal cross found at Ground Zero, a crane holding iron from the site, construction hats, etc.
All over the walls, quotes from people affected by that day and voicemails to and from victims make the museum speak straight to the heart, and shows the horror and heartbreak of 9/11.
“Those we lost live on in us,” said President Obama.
Do you want to go visit the museum? If so, why do you want to go and what do you want to see there?