"It tells how in the aftermath of the attacks, our city, our nation and people across the world came together," former
After Thursday's dedication, then six days of being open around-the-clock to
As museum leaders see it, it is both a site of remembrance and a palpably physical forum for examining the post-
Yet the memorial also reflects the complexity of crafting a public understanding of the terrorist attacks and reconceiving ground zero.
Over the years, the museum faced financing squabbles and construction challenges. The museum and the memorial plaza above it cost a total of
Conflicts over the museum's content underlined the need to memorialize the dead while also honouring survivors and rescuers, of balancing the intimate with the international.
Holocaust and war memorials have confronted some of the same questions. But the 9-11 museum exemplifies the work it takes to "develop a museum program amidst this range of powerful feelings and differing individuals and issues that get raised," said
The museum harbours both personal possessions and artifacts that became public symbols of survival and loss. There is the battered "survivors' staircase" that hundreds used to escape the burning skyscrapers, the memento-covered last column removed during the ground zero cleanup and the cross-shaped steel beams that became an emblem of remembrance. (An atheists' group has sued, so far unsuccessfully, seeking to stop the display of the cross).
Portraits and profiles describe the nearly 3,000 people killed by the
The museum also looks at the lead-up to
Members of the museum's interfaith clergy advisory panel raised concerns that it plans to show a documentary film, about
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow, and I'm dreading tomorrow," he said Wednesday. "It brings everything up."
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