The September 11th Memorial is scheduled to open on time for the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, and the man in charge of the project is making sure that victims' family members will always have top priority in the limited-access space. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
President Joseph Daniels of the September 11th Memorial and Museum is under the gun. In little more than two months, the memorial is set to open, and a countdown clock reminds employees the number of days that are left.
Daniels has to deliver on the anniversary and he says he feels a lot of pressure.
“The president’s going to be here on 9/11. You have a couple of former presidents of the United States as honorary board members,” he says.
The project is on target, according to Daniels. Though much work remains, the waterfalls that sit in the Twin Towers' footprints are being tested and the bronze panels with the names of the nearly 3,000 victims are installed.
Family members will gather at the site for the official commemoration ceremony and then on September 12 the site opens to the public, but by reservation only, thanks to surrounding construction.
“We know a tremendous amount of people will want to come visit, but we have a limited capacity to come onto the memorial. So essentially it’s a pass system, it’s tickets,” says Daniels.
Tickets are free but need to be reserved at 911memorial.org, which goes live Monday. Users can reserve up to nine passes per person, which can be printed at home. Groups of 10 or more have to call a special group visitor line.
“I hope people come on, start booking their passes. We’re going to know right away, and we’ll be able to monitor in real time the amount of activity,” says Daniel.
Family members have their own dedicated call center, which opened on Wednesday, and already 600 have reserved passes.
“We have in our system made sure that there’s always an allocation for family members, so that pretty much any date, any time, any time of the year that a family member wants to come, we will make sure that they will be able to come,” Daniel says.
For everyone else, the best advice is to reserve a spot early on.
"The 9/11 Memorial From All Sides"
Beginning Friday, July 8, watch the half-hour special "The 9/11 Memorial From All Sides," in which NY1's Bobby Cuza will give viewers a preview of the memorial, from its concept to its initial design, to the elements and items included in the display.