For the next five days, 24 hours a day, the 9/11 Museum will be open only to survivors of the 9/11 attacks and first responders, as well as the loved ones of those who died, and many of them came to the official dedication. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Survivors on Thursday shared their stories of survival on the day of the September 11th attacks.
"I was on the 63rd floor of 1 World Trade Center," said survivor Luz Santana.
"It just got extremely warm in our offices from the heat," said survivor Jacinto Guzman.
"We felt the impact from the North Tower and instantly started moving everybody out," said survivor Heidi Boxhorn.
On this day, they came to the 9/11 Museum to pay their respects.
"We lost 86 people from our firm," Guzman said. "They have the graphics like a computer, where you can bring up the name."
They said they'll never forget, and they want others to understand what they went through. Santana brought her son.
"I was showing my son a picture of one of the firefighters that was coming up, and I remembered him because I blessed him," she said.
Survivors and the families of victims saw pictures and artifacts that tell the story of the World Trade Center attacks.
Maureen Fanning found a picture of her husband, FDNY Battalion Chief Jack Fanning, on the beam in the museum.
"So his picture's on the wall, and I, you know, I just, I couldn't believe it," Maureen Fanning said. "I was like, 'Wow, this is great.'"
Fanning said she was too overwhelmed to see everything. She was with her sister-in-law, Eileen Herbst.
"So much time is passed, It was a nice closure," Herbst said.
Almost 13 years have gone by since the attacks. Patricia Smith was just two years old when her mom, Police Officer Moira Smith, died trying to save others.
"I hear all the stories from my dad, but to actually see and be able to be this close to things that were actually there, I kind of feel like I'm a little bit closer to the people that passed, and my mom especially," Patricia Smith said.
Patricia received her mother's badge in 2001. Her father, James, said seeing the museum brings him back but shows everyone a historical account, a timeline and a better understanding.
"It's a tribute to those who were lost and it's a tribute to those who survived, and I think that's important," James Smith said. "It has a hopeful meaning."
Some of the adjectives that survivors and family members of victims used to describe the museum included beautiful, impressive and inspiring.