The 9/11 Memorial opened on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. It
is located on the western side of the former World Trade Center complex where the
Twin Towers once stood. The Memorial was designed by two architects, Michael Arad
and Peter Walker, whose proposal was selected in a design competition out of 5,201
submissions from 63 countries.
The Memorial park surrounds two enormous reflecting pools set within the footprints of
the North and South towers. This is where the towers used to stand. The pools feature
30-foot waterfalls – the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The water
cascades into reflecting pools, finally disappearing into the center voids. The names of
people who were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, at the Pentagon, and on
Flight 93, as well as in the 1993 bombing at the WTC, are
etched in bronze around the edges of the pools.
The plaza is lined with cobblestones and will eventually have more than 400 swamp
white oak trees, creating a space for reflection separate from the sights and sounds
of the surrounding city. The trees were selected from a 500-mile radius of the WTC site,
including nurseries located in New York, Pennsylvania, and near Washington, DC, to
symbolize areas impacted on 9/11.