Tips for Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Posted on May 27, 2014

Visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a very powerful experience and each person will enter with different memories of where they were on that day in 2001.

What is it?
The site is a reminder of an attack by a group of extremists called al-Qaeda. They wanted America to change its policies in the Middle East and used violence to accomplish awareness. The event took place on September 11, 2001. It was a national event, not just a New York event, and therefore a center of controversy now as it relates to funding and who should pay for what and how much.

What happened?
Nineteen men hijacked four commercial airplanes. They intentionally flew three of the planes into buildings; The Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania when the passengers fought back. Nearly 3,000 people were killed as a result of the 9/11 attacks, including people from more than 90 countries.

The terrorists wanted to focus the world’s attention on three specific American symbols:
Financial: The World Trade Center
Military: The Pentagon
Government: The U.S. Capitol building

Who should visit?
This is a sacred site and the memories of loved ones that have been lost can be almost more than any of us want to remember. How the nation came together and the rebuilding of the sense of nationalism is represented by each person in their own ways. This is a place of quiet and remembrance depicting the worst and best of mankind as they came together to rebuild the area. Children 8 and over will have questions about that day. Please wear comfortable, soft sole shoes that maintain the quiet of the area.

Keep the answers factual and simple to understand. There are thousands of stories about this day, not just one. Expressing feelings as a family to allow your children to understand that this is complicated and hard is a good idea. There are no simple answers to this.

How to visit?
Purchase your tickets on-line. The one-hour guided tour by a staff member is excellent and is an additional cost that’s worth it for adults and teenage visitors. This museum is not for younger children.

You’ll learn about the design of the building, some of the most iconic remnants and artifacts on display and help you to understand what happened that day. Audio guides are available with hearing loops, and you may download 9/11 Memorial Mobile Apps for both the 9/11 Memorial Guide and the 9/11 Museum Audio Guide.

There is an 11 minute movie that helps describe the day. The theater accommodates 45 people at one time, and there is a line so allow another 30 minutes. After that, spend time in the exhibition halls. You can easily spend two hours in the exhibition hall so allow three to four hours for your visit.

To further enhance your understanding of the entire Financial District, from the 1600’s when the Dutch landed and created a trading port, to the redevelopment taking place, call us to custom design an experience just for you at 212-370-1319 or email

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