Located at the former World Trade Center Complex, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum pays tribute to not only those killed on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center, but also those killed outside of Shakerville, PA, the Pentagon, and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
A design competition in 2003 decided Michael Arad, a former NYC housing authority and partner at Handel Archeticts, would be the architect for the project. His design Reflecting Absence was used in cooperation with landscape architect Peter Walker's vision.
Two reflecting pools will be the centerpiece of the memorial with large waterfalls cascading down the sides. They will sit at the base of where the Twin Towers once stood. The names of nearly 3,000 people taken in the tragic events of 9/11 will be etched in bronze onto the outside of two acre-sized pools.
The eco-friendly plaza will also be home to about 400 Swamp White Oak trees, selected from a radius of 500 miles from the World Trade Center, as well as near the Pennsylvania crash site, and Washington D.C.
The memorial will be open to the families of those lost on the decade anniversary of September 11, and open to the public the following day - although advance timed passes are required. The museum will not be open until the following year, September 2012.
A view of the World Trade Center North Tower memorial pool at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York on September 6, 2011 Rueters/Susan Walsh
A general view shows the south pool waterfall and the under construction One World Trade Center tower in New York on July 28, 2011 Reuters/Mike Segar
Work continues on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site in New York Reuters/Mike Segar
A view of the World Trade Center North Tower memorial pool at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Reuters/Susan Walsh
A view of the World Trade Center South Tower memorial pool at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Reuters/Susan Walsh
Workers install stone and pavers on the main plaza area as work continues on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site Reuters/Mike Segar
The south pool waterfall is tested as work continues on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Reuters/Mike Segar