The National September 11 Memorial today marked its first year of operation at the World Trade Center site, where millions of visitors have paid their respects to the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 attacks. The 9/11 Memorial opened to the public on Sept. 12, 2011, one day after a dedication ceremony attended by thousands of victims' families on the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
More than 4.5 million people from all 50 states and more than 170 countries have visited the Memorial since its public opening. The visitation total surpasses previous projections of between 3 and 4 million visitors, despite ongoing construction on other World Trade Center projects. U.S. and foreign dignitaries have been among the millions of visitors, including President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and many others.
The Memorial has also been the site for special gatherings that have included "Community Evenings" for lower Manhattan residents and workers, dedicated "First Responder Days," special military re-enlistment ceremonies, and a "Thank You Tribute" recognizing the 10th anniversary of May 30, 2002, which marked the formal end of recovery operations at Ground Zero.
"The 9/11 Memorial serves as a beautiful place of reflection, a symbol of perseverance and a sacred site to remember the tragic events that occurred 11 years ago," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the 9/11 Memorial Chairman. "With the help of millions of visitors and other supporters, we can ensure this national tribute will be here for generations to come."
"Welcoming more than 4.5 million visitors to the 9/11 Memorial in its first year of operation is a clear indication that our will to remember is as strong as ever," 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said. "The opening of the Memorial marked the start of a new chapter in our nation's history and we are deeply grateful to all of our supporters across the country and around the world."
9/11 Memorial Staff