On Nov. 22, 1963, the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. Many Americans can say, “I’ll never forget where I was when President Kennedy was assassinated.”
Jump back to Dec. 7, 1941, and many Americans can say, “I’ll never forget where I was when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese.”
Flash forward to 2011, and many Americans can say, “I’ll never forget where I was when two airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center, one airplane into the Pentagon and one airplane -- thought to be headed toward the U.S. Capitol -- into a Pennsylvania field."
The commonality among these three statements?
Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In remembrance, we give our sober regards not only to those who lost their lives that day, but also to the torn families, the brave emergency crews and the patriots who have since given their all in the pursuit of freedom.
Plans are in full swing for new buildings that will stand at the site of the World Trade Center, the first of which is estimated to be completed in 2012.
But in commemoration of the 10th anniversary, the 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated during a ceremony for victims' families. The site will be open to the public on Sept. 12.
Without further adieu, here are a few facts about The National September 11 Memorial & Museum:
Two reflecting pools will stand in the footprints of the former 1 World Trade Center and 2 World Trade Center. The 450,000-gallon pools stand on the site of each tower. The square pools each feature a 30-foot waterfall.
The reflecting pools are each surrounded by bronze parapets, inscribed with the names of those killed in the terrorist attacks. Around the North Pool are the names of those lost in the North Tower (1 World Trade Center), the passengers of Flight 11 and those killed in the Feb. 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
Around the South Pool are the names of those lost in the South Tower (2 World Trade Center), as well as passengers from Flights 175, 77 and 93. Casualties of the Pentagon attack and the heroes who gave their lives responding to the emergency also have their names inscribed at the South Pool.
More than 400 Swamp White Oak trees have been planted on the memorial site. The trees were brought in from all over the Northeast, including areas of New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. They stand in what used to be the open concrete of the World Trade Center Plaza.
The Memorial Museum -- built between the pools -- is expected to open in September 2012. The museum’s design is a tribute to the World Trade Center and the 9/11 attacks, and already has planned exhibitions on the background and aftermath of the attacks.