Photo Essay: National September 11 Memorial

Exactly a week ago the National September 11 Memorial was open to the public.  This memorial, still today a construction site, incorporates a minimalistic design that delivers a message through voids and absences rather than through symbolic figures, a truly poetic expression.

The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the 2,983 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pa., including the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993.

The following are some of the pictures I took on September 15, 2011; merely 4 days after the memorial’s commemoration at the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

National September 11 Memorial
The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and conform to the exact footprint and location of the former towers. In addition they the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.
National September 11 Memorial
One of the most poetic expressions of the memorial is seeing the water fall and illuminate as it reaches the sunken pool.
National September 11 Memorial
While the sunken pools represent the physical and spiritual void created during 9/11, the second hole represents hope and the idea that there’s more beyond just this.
National September 11 Memorial
Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.
National September 11 Memorial
The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools.
National September 11 Memorial
Families of the victims leave flowers on the names of their dear ones.
National September 11 Memorial
Its design conveys a spirit of hope and renewal, and creates a contemplative space separate from the usual sights and sounds of New York City.
National September 11 Memorial
The Memorial Plaza is one of the most eco-friendly plazas ever constructed. More than 400 trees are planned for the plaza, surrounding the Memorial’s two massive reflecting pools.
National September 11 Memorial
Sheltered in the museum (still under construction) are two columns of one of the former World Trade Center facade. You can see the damage created to the steel as well as the magnitude of each column’s size.
National September 11 Memorial
The new tower, One Trade Center, will be the tales tower in the United States, reaching a height of 1776 ft (commemorating the year of the US Declaration of Independence)

For more information on the memorial, visit the 9/11 Memorial Official Site.

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18 thoughts on “Photo Essay: National September 11 Memorial”

  1. Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    Great photos. It looks like a truly moving experience and an extremely appropriate tribute. I can’t wait to visit it.

    1. Thanks Caanan! I too believe it is very appropriate, especially because its minimalistic design allows you to absorb and interpret the space as you feel it, instead of imposing an ideology.

  2. Thanks for sharing these photos, Norbert. I definitely hope to visit someday soon — perhaps next year after the museum is open. It looks like a very moving tribute to those who were lost.

    1. You’re welcome, Amanda! Oh yes, it’s nice going now, but wait till the museum opens because it will allow you to see even more of the memorial, including an underground area designated for mourning and exhibit.

  3. No matter how many times I look at photographs or videos in relation to that day, It still seems unbelievable. That day was certainly the day the world changed for ever.

    1. Natalie, I know what you’re saying about it being unbelievable… for me it is also incomprehensible and hard to understand. I agree, 9/11 marked the day the world changed forever.

    1. Thanks Leslie! I think the waterfalls are one of the most poetic elements this memorial has, and the fact that they mark the former outline of the towers helps you realize the void that is now there.

  4. Such a sad memorial.I am not sure I want to visit because I don’t want to relive what happened. But, I am glad to see it looks beautiful and your pictures are very moving. I especially like the one with the rose. I am a huge crybaby, and I know I would cry too much.

    1. For me it was very sad seen the families of the victims leaving flowers and kneeling next to the names. It’s really hard to comprehend what they are feeling. Still, I do recommend visiting the memorial because it is very well done.

  5. Great photos Norbert. This is really where you can see the value in that canon t2i 🙂
    Makes it all worthwhile to capture these types of emotive moments.

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