President Barack Obama is among those scheduled to attend the National September 11 Memorial Museum’s dedication ceremony today. Leaders of the soon-to-open museum are portraying it as a monument to unity and resilience ahead of its dedication, saying that the struggles to build it and conflicts over its content would be trumped by its tribute to both loss and survival.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that the Sept. 11 museum describes how people across the world came together after the attacks.
Bloomberg, who is the memorial foundation’s chairman, said the museum “will keep that spirit of unity alive.”
“The museum tells heartbreaking stories of unimaginable loss, but also inspiring stories of courage and compassion,” he said. “It tells how in the aftermath of the attacks, our city, our nation and people across the world came together.”
The steel and glass museum houses more than 10,000 artifacts, 23,000 photographs, 1,900 oral histories and 500 hours of film and video.
Portraits and profiles describe the nearly 3,000 people killed by the Sept. 11 attacks and the 1993 trade center bombing. Nearly 2,000 oral histories give voice to the memories of survivors, first responders, victims’ relatives and others.
While some Sept. 11 victims’ relatives have embraced the museum, others have denounced its $24 general-public ticket price as unseemly and its underground location as disrespectful, particularly because unidentified remains are being stored in a private repository there.
The museum organizers have noted that security alone costs about $10 million a year.
After today’s dedication, the museum will be open for six days around-the-clock to Sept. 11 survivors, victims’ relatives, first responders and lower Manhattan residents.
It opens to the public May 21. The $24 admission will be waived for all visitors on opening day, but advance reservations are required.
There will be no admission charge for relatives of Sept. 11 victims or for rescue and recovery workers. Children age 6 and younger will get in free. Admission will be free for everyone on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The museum’s regular hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Officials say advanced reservations for tickets can be booked at 911memorial.org.