One of the world’s most recognizable leaders will visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in September. Pope Francis will visit on Sept. 25, 2015 to pay his respects to the victims of 9/11 and meet with local religious leaders from across many faiths. “We are deeply honored to welcome one of the world’s most respected figures to the Memorial and Museum. This visit is another powerful example of the significance global leaders are placing on coming to this sacred ground,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said. “Pope Francis has expressed the importance of preserving the living memory of others. For many around the world, including those who experienced 9/11, there is no more important a place for that kind of reflection than the Memorial and Museum.” This visit is part of the pontiff’s first trip to America, becoming the fourth leader of the Roman Catholic Church to visit the United States. After seeing the Memorial, the Pope will lead a Multireligious Meeting for Peace inside the Museum, where he will gather with local representatives of the world religions to give a common witness to peace.
“During the darkest days after the 9/11 attacks, the remarkable triumph of the human spirit – demonstrated through acts of courage, determination, and generosity as we came together and buttressed our grief with faith in the possibility of renewal – inspired not only our country but people around the world,” 9/11 Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald said. Francis will also be the first pope to visit the Memorial and Museum. The last time a Pope was at the World Trade Center site, the Memorial and Museum were not yet open. Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, knelt and prayed during a ceremony in April 2008 at Ground Zero. While many will wish to see the Pope, there are capacity and security restrictions at the Memorial and Museum. A lottery will be held to offer an opportunity for a select number of guests from the 9/11 community to join the Pope on the Memorial, as well as for an extremely limited number to attend the event hosted by the New York Archdiocese in the Museum. More details will follow.
By Anthony Guido, 9/11 Memorial Director of Communications