The Maryland Guide • 9-9-21
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The / Memorial
Among the more indelible images to emerge on September 11, 2001 was the sight
of two planes crashing into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Still
photos and video footage of those planes flying into the Twin Towers were the first images
of the attacks many Americans saw, and no one who watched events unfold that morning
will ever forget those images.
Though both the North and South Towers fell on that day, today the site where each
tower once stood is a serene retreat in the bustling lower Manhattan neighborhood that
was shaken to its core on the day of the attacks. The 9/11 Memorial was designed by
architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker. The 9/11 Memorial and
Museum notes that Arad and Walker’s proposal was chosen in a design competition that
featured 5,201 submissions from 63 countries.
The 9/11 Memorial is located on the western side of the formal World Trade Center where the Twin Towers once stood.
Two enormous reflecting pools are part of the Memorial Plaza, which is where the North and South Towers once stood. The
pools feature the two largest man-made waterfalls in North America. Around the edges of the pools, the names of people
who were killed in the 9/11 attacks in New York, the Pentagon, on Flight 93, and in the 1993 bombing at the World Trade
Center are etched in bronze.
In recognition of the crash sites, 400 swamp white oak trees were selected from nurseries located in New York, Pennsylvania
and near Washington, D.C. These trees are located throughout the Memorial Plaza, providing a peaceful respite
separate from the surrounding city. The Memorial Plaza also includes one Callery pear tree. That tree was discovered at
Ground Zero weeks after the attacks and it was severely damaged. The tree, now known as the Survivor Tree, was nursed back
to health by members of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department and returned to the World Trade Center site in
2010, where it still stands as an enduring symbol of resilience and perseverance.
The 9/11 Memorial is free and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the 9/11 Memorial and the
9/11 Memorial and Museum can be found at www.911memorial.org.