National September 11 Memorial & Museum gets finishing touches as 12th anniversary of 9/11 approaches

By Corinne Lestch New York Daily News

The museum, opening in spring 2014, will be housed in the sacred ground beneath the place where the twin towers once stood. Artifacts, including 24 large relics already installed, will chronicle the history of the tragic day and explore living in a ‘post-9/11 world.’

The slurry wall (left), part of the World Trade Center's original foundation, and the last column removed from the WTC site, (center, covered in a protective wrap). Mary Altaffer/AP

The slurry wall (left), part of the World Trade Center’s original foundation, and the last column removed from the WTC site, (center, covered in a protective wrap). Mary Altaffer/AP

The memory of those lost on 9/11 will soon have a new home — in the sacred ground beneath the place where the twin towers once stood.

Finishing touches are just now being put on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, officials said Friday.

The original stairway from the World Trade Center Plaza to Vesey Street (left). Mary Altaffer/AP

The original stairway from the World Trade Center Plaza to Vesey Street (left). Mary Altaffer/AP

Outfitting the museum has taken three years of painstaking work, but as New Yorkers and the rest of the world prepare for the 12th anniversary of the tragic day, solid progress has been made.Museum staff have installed relics for the historical exhibition and unearthed rescue vehicles to paint a poignant picture of the horrible events and the bravery shown by so many first responders and ordinary New Yorkers.

“Every artifact in the museum has a story to tell,” said museum director Alice Greenwald. “Whether monumental pieces of steel structure from the twin towers … or intimate objects like a watch worn by a passenger aboard one of the hijacked planes, artifacts have the power to connect us to history with an unmatched immediacy.”

The museum, which will open in spring 2014, currently has 24 large artifacts installed inside its hallowed walls.

The larger-than-life items include the head of a grappler, which was used by engineers to lift debris from the pile at Ground Zero; the cross at Ground Zero, which was formed by intersecting steel beams and gave hope and healing to many rescue workers; and a partly recovered FDNY Engine Company 21 truck, which was dispatched when United Flight 175 struck the south tower.

“These artifacts will preserve the powerful story of 9/11 for generations to come,” said 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels.

People making the pilgrimage to Ground Zero will have to pay from $20 to $25 to descend into the underground museum.

The museum will explore the impact of living in a ‘post-9/11 world.’

Watch a video here.

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