The National September 11th Memorial Museum dedicated to the nearly 3,000 thousand killed on 9/11 and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing opened to the public on Wednesday following a preview week set aside for victim's families, first responders and survivors. Roger Clark spoke with visitors amid complaints from some family members about what’s inside.
Before the doors opened at the National September 11th Memorial Museum, a ceremony welcomed back a giant American flag that was put up on a building near the World Trade Center after the terrorist attacks. The damaged flag was stitched back together by people in all 50 states through the New York Says Thank You Foundation.
"It was like our baby for a year and now it’s grown up. It needs to go back where it belongs and it will always be ours but it belongs here,” said Carolyn Deters of the New York Says Thank You Foundation.
The flag is now part of the permanent collection at the museum, which opened to the public after a nearly week long preview for victims' families, first responders, rescue and recovery workers and survivors. More than 42,000 have visited since
President Obama helped dedicate the museum last week. Wednesday, the museum opened its doors to the world.
"It is tough, it is tough. But, beautifully done,” said Lori Sullivan, a visitor.
"I thought it was an excellent job the way they put it together it just got really emotional there at the end, you know,” said visitor Greg Smith.
The museum includes artifacts from the Twin Towers and personal items donated by victim’s families. It tells the story of 9/11 and the days, weeks and months afterwards as the nation mourned and the city moved towards recovering from the catastrophe.
"It was an experience that regardless of where you were, you felt something. So I think they did a great job in the museum,” said visitor Patricia Serrano.
As the museum welcomed visitors, there was criticism by some family members concerning the museum shop, which sells T-shirts, hats, books and DVDs. Museum Officials say the money from sales goes towards operating costs, adding the items are appropriate with a focus on educational materials.
Visitors we spoke with were mixed on the issue.
"I think it's a way that they need to make money to maintain things,” said Serrano.
"We just avoided the gift shop. Didn't even get into it, you know?" said Smith.
Tickets are $24 for adults, but admission is free every Tuesday between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. There are discounts for seniors, students and veterans.
For more information, visit 911memorial.org.