On September 11, 2001, terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 innocent people at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in a quiet field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 400 first responders perished, heroically performing their sworn duty: firefighters, members of the NYPD and PAPD, and other rescue workers. Those who were lost were the everyday sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, and mothers and fathers who make up the fabric of this nation. Who were, in every sense, who we are.
It is because of what happened that we have an obligation, which extends to the families and friends who lost loved ones, to those who survived, and to the millions of Americans and those from around the world who visit this sacred site.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has a dual mission of commemoration and education. The 9/11 Memorial opened on September 11, 2011, marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It continues to be one of our nation’s most visited sites, as people from all over the world come to honor those who were killed on 9/11 and reflect on the compassion and humanity evidenced in the aftermath of the attacks.
And it is through the 9/11 Memorial Museum that we fulfill a sacred obligation to preserve this crucial history for future generations. The Museum is the global focal point for telling the story of what happened on 9/11 through first person accounts, artifacts, and digital documentation. It is also through the Museum that we honor and remember those who died in the attacks through the lives they lived, rather than the deaths they died, and stand witness to the many stories of bravery and sacrifice.
Together, the Memorial and Museum remind us of the powerful and binding connection we share with one another – a connection that eclipses politics, economic class, and geography.
President and CEO
National September 11 Memorial & Museum