Memorials serve as reminder of our shared struggles, sacrifices, and heroism. As a guide in Washington D.C., the memorials are often at the top of the list of places to see. Each of them serves a unique purpose and often provoke strong emotional reactions.
Throughout the country there are a number of local memorials dedicated to September 11, but the official memorials at the exact sites are powerful reminders of that fateful day.
After an incredible amount of debate and discussion over the design, the National 9/11 Memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Called "Reflecting Absence" the memorial is situated on the two footprints of the World Trade Center.
The names of the victims are placed upon bronze borders in a way that reflects who they potentially were with at the time of their death. The victims remain together rather than listed alphabetically.
White roses are placed on the names of the victims on their birthday.
“Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then we’ve lived in sunshine and in shadow, and although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, grandchildren have been born and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost.” – New York mayor Michael Bloomberg on the tenth anniversary of 9/11
“My son, firefighter Leon Smith Jr., who was the sunshine of my life. He gave his life so that others could live. I love you, I miss you and we’ll meet again soon.” – Irene Smith, whose son was a member of the Fire Department of New York Ladder Co. 118
The Survivors Stairs served as an important escape route for hundreds that day.
If the name plaque is arranged in such a way that you are looking toward the Pentagon as you are reading it, then the victim died in the Pentagon. If you are reading the name plaque and you are looking the opposite direction, the victim died on Flight 77
Inside the Visitors Center, exhibits reveal the story of United Flight 93. Messages left on answering machines and remnants of the plane and passengers personal belongings offer a haunting remembrance.