The tragedy of September 11, 2001, appears to have been submerged In the shadow of a global COVID-19 pandemic. But not for the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives and hailed from more than 90 countries around the world, including India which lost 41 individuals. There were also numerous Indian-Americans killed on that day.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum reopens exclusively for 9/11 families on Sept. 11,2020, the 19th anniversary of that horrific day. It will open to the general public on Sept. 12, a press release from the Museum said. After that, it will remain open five days a week.
Located on 8 acres of the 16-acre World Trade Center complex, the 9///11 Memorial provides visitors with an environment conducive to reflection and remembrance. The meanings embedded in each of the choices made while developing the Memorial are symbolic of the tragedy.
In 2018, India Abroad newspaper ran the list of South Asians killed in the attack on the Twin Towers (https://bit.ly/2QVEygt).
The names of all those killed are contained in the link — names.911memorial.org. Those names of the 2,983 people who were killed in both the 2001 and 1993 terrorist attacks are inscribed on bronze parapets edging the memorial pools.
The names are grouped by the locations and circumstances in which victims found themselves during the attacks.
The North Pool parapets include the names of those who were killed at the North Tower, on hijacked Flight 11, and in the 1993 bombing.
The South Pool parapets include the names of first responders as well as victims who were killed at the South Tower, on hijacked Flight 175, at the Pentagon, on hijacked Flight 77, and on hijacked Flight 93.
Within these groupings, names are arranged in a system of “meaningful adjacencies.” Friends and colleagues appear together, as well as the crews of each of the four flights and first responder agencies and units.
Additionally, during the Memorial’s development, victims’ next of kin were invited to request that their loved ones’ names be inscribed alongside specific others. In this way, those who were connected in life reside together on the Memorial.
In addition, more than 400 swamp white oak trees fill the Memorial plaza around the pools. This species was chosen because it is native to the areas of all three 9/11 crash sites — New York City; Arlington, Virginia; and Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
The Memorial plaza also includes one Callery pear tree recovered a few months after the devastation, and brought back to health, to symbolize resilience and perseverance. It is called The Survivor Tree.
The Museum is making ongoing operational changes provide make sure visitors have a safe and healthy experience, including, reducing the capacity to 25 percent to allow for social distancing; reducing operating hours for carrying out deep cleaning; ensuring all tickets are purchased in advance so that timed sessions can be conducted.
Visitors will be entering in a regulated one-way tour and some exhibits will remain closed, the press release said.
The Museum will be open Thursday and Friday from 12 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Needless to say, all visitors and staff have to wear masks or face coverings, and masks with vents or valves shoul dnot be worn because they are not effective, the Museum notes, quoting the Centers for Disease Control. Masks can also be purchased through the Memorial’s “buy one, give one” initiative where essential workers will receive a mask for every one purchased from the 9/11 Memorial Museum Store. Disposable masks also will be available on site.