In the 10 years since the terrorist attacks, communities in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania have raised funds and built memorial parks to honor the legacy of the nearly 3,000 people who perished when four passenger airplanes were hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and — after passengers fought back — a field in rural Pennsylvania.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center (911memorial.org) The memorial will be dedicated on September 11 in a private ceremony for the families of those who died 10 years ago, and will open to the public on September 12 (though passes must be reserved in advance). The memorial features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the original twin towers. The names of those killed in the September 11 attacks (as well as the 1993 bombing at the Trade Center) will be inscribed on bronze parapets surrounding the twin memorial pools. The museum, which will house a permanent collection of artifacts, stories, photos, videos, and other material related to the attacks, is scheduled to open in September 2012.
The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial (pentagonmemorial.org) A permanent outdoor memorial, the park features 184 illuminated benches to individually honor the passengers, civilians, and military personnel killed in the attack. Every bench is inscribed with the name of one of the victims, and features a reflecting pool beneath the bench. Located on the west side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, the memorial park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Flight 93 National Memorial (honorflight93.org and nps.gov/flni) Honoring the 40 passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93 who prevented the terrorists from reaching their target, the memorial in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, will be the centerpiece of an expansive 2,220-acre park, one of the newest in the National Park system. To be completed in three phases, the public dedication of the first phase will be celebrated September 10, and services marking the 10th anniversary of the attacks will take place September 11. (To help fund the rest of the project, Philadelphia-based jeweler Steven Singer created a “9/11 Never Forget” pin available for $10, with proceeds donated to construction costs. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.)