Few events galvanize the entire world.  We all know where we were when we first learned of the events unfolding on September 11, 2001.  I was driving home, listening to the radio and wondering what the commotion was, then seeing the images on the TV, and I knew this was an act of war.

9/11 has become a sad reality that not everyone and everything in this world is good; there is real evil out present, and it sometimes wants to kill us.  The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a reminder of the horrors unleashed on the world and the heroes that emerged.

Of all the places my wife has asked me to visit, this was the one she had mentioned the most.  Her desire to see this location and pay homage has been a desire for years.  But it was in New York City, and I did not ever think we would visit this large mega-city.

Our schedules had changed, and I found myself planning a trip to NYC with this museum as the keystone of our journey.  

I had purchased tickets for entry at 1:30.  We arrived nearly two hours early, and experience has taught me that timed tickets are more a suggestion than a reality.  That was not the case here.  The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a very popular location, with tickets selling out and people lining up to enter.  This was the first place we experienced in NYC and the size of a crowd.  Being a large city, crowds can be expected at everything.  There was no chance of getting in early; we had to wait.  

We would wander the city, seeing the sights and gawking like tourists at recognized landmarks.   And then we would find ourselves waiting in line.

The first exhibit was where people first heard of the events unfolding on 9/11. The entire facility is underground.  There are exhibits of damaged equipment, the foundation of the World Trade Center. Photos of the lives lost and heroes that saved many. Many artifacts from the ruins and memories.

So many memories.

A major tragedy occurred on this spot; everyone was affected.  Remembering these events did unsettle some of the other patrons. 

The museum is best done slowly.  Take the time to read the signage, reflect on the significance and then quietly move to the next.  It is a large space, and even though we had to wait in a crowded lineup and there were many people present, I could freely move and ponder the events that this memorial remembers. 

The outside has two water fountains that pour into the former locations of the World Trade Centers.  The names of the victims etched in stone encompass this monument.  There are monuments and informational signs.  Plus, a few vendors.  

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a must-visit when in NYC and was our first stop on this road trip.  

  • NYC is one of the largest cities in the world, and there will be large crowds everywhere you go.
  • The entry fee was on the expensive side.
  • Expect to spend over two hours exploring the outside and inside.
  • Buy timed tickets in advance.
  • The location of this destination is found on my Featured Map.  This map includes all the places I have visited that are worth exploring.
  • Photos can be taken in most of the museum, but there are a few spots where you are asked to respect the memory of the victims.


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