The 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center reopened on July 4 to 9/11 family members, the extended 9/11 community, and workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Memorial finally opened its doors to the general public on July 5, ending a temporary closure that had been in place since early March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Memorial now has new operational hours and safeguards, including deep cleanings, maintaining social distancing, and requiring visitors and employees to wear masks. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum has launched a major fundraising campaign to sustain the Memorial. The accompanying 9/11 Memorial Museum, which houses artifacts and exhibitions, remains closed. Through admissions, the Museum traditionally provides the main source of revenue to cover the operational costs and provides free access to the Memorial.
As a national heritage site, the Memorial is a physical testimony to the possibility of recovery and renewal in New York City, and the United States. It also symbolizes the spirit of healing and unity. The Memorial and the Museum have been closed since March 13, as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the tri-state area and the nation. A plan to reopen the Museum is underway.
On the morning of Independence Day, 108th New York City Mayor and 9/11 Memorial & Museum Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg, Gov. Philip Murphy of New Jersey, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, joined 9/11 Memorial & Museum President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald and 9/11 family member and 9/11 Memorial & Museum Trustee Anthoula Katsimatides on the Memorial to honor those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those in the 9/11 community who were severely affected by the health crisis.
Michael R. Bloomberg stated that Independence Day was a fitting occasion to reopen the 9/11 Memorial, as we celebrate the revolutionary Declaration issued 244 years ago, and the promise of equality for all that we are still working to fulfill, we also honor all who have paid the cost, borne the burden, of sustaining American freedom. The 9/11 Memorial is a powerful tribute to those we lost, and to our nation’s character.
The sense of hope and renewal that we see reflected in the pools is especially important and urgent right now, as the world continues to grapple with the worst public health crises in a century, and the tremendous hardships and loss of life it has caused. It is hoped that the Memorial’s opening will remind visitors of our capacity to persevere through crises, unite in common purpose, and come through all of this a lot stronger.
Governor Cuomo said that the 9/11 Memorial is a tribute to the thousands of lives lost on September 11, 2001. Still, it is also a symbol of New Yorker’s unity, courage, and determination to build back stronger in the face of adversity. Like 9/11, the COVID-19 pandemic changed our perspective on the whole world and altered our lives forever. And just like 19 years ago, New Yorkers have worked together to overcome this unprecedented challenge and rebuild.
After more than 3 months of being closed to the public, it is with great pleasure that this important piece of New York State’s history is opened back up to the public so that we may continue to honor those we lost and keep their legacies alive.
Alice M. Greenwald, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum president and CEO said, that the very origin of the Memorial and Museum speaks volumes, years of advocacy from the 9/11 community, who fought tooth and nail to bring this place to exist. In our very short history, we have exhibited time and again
perseverance, adaptability, and above all, dedication. We are no less motivated today in the face of this most recent challenge. We work to reopen this sacred space for the millions who want to honor the memory of the 2,983 people killed in the attacks and the spirit of a city and country that came together to rebuild.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum had to manage difficult decisions during its closure to protect its ability to continue future operations and to preserve its mission. The financial impact of the health crisis has been devastating. At this time, renewed public support through visitation and philanthropy is needed to sustain the Memorial and Museum for generations to come.
The Memorial reopens with enhanced health and safety procedures in accordance with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including social distancing requirements and sanitation protocols. Hours of operation have been adjusted for the health and safety of our visitors and staff. The Memorial will be open seven days a week from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily. All visitors are required to wear masks, and social distancing will be maintained.