After Special July 4 Opening Ceremony, 9/11 Memorial Open to the Public on Sunday

A view of American flags inserted into the names parapet. In the background are the skyscrapers of the World Trade Center.
Photo by Jin S. Lee

After a special Independence Day opening for 9/11 families and the extended 9/11 community, as well as workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 9/11 Memorial will reopen to the public on Sunday.

Starting Sunday, July 5, the 9/11 Memorial will now be open from 1 to 8 p.m. seven days a week. All visitors are required to masks or face coverings and follow all health and safety guidelines

The public opening follows a touching reopening ceremony on July 4 that began when Team Red, White & Blue—a nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them through physical and social activities—continued its tradition of placing an American flag in each victim’s name prior to opening.

A man waving an American flag and wearing a T-shirt that reads "Team Red White & Blue" wears a face mask and is about to hand out small American flags.
Photo by Jin S. Lee

After the parapets were adorned with the Stars and Stripes, three bagpipers played as American flags were also placed at the Survivor Tree to honor those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those in the 9/11 community who were severely affected by the health crisis. Michael Bloomberg, the chairman of the board of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Alice Greenwald, president and CEO of the Museum, were joined by Governor Philip Murphy of New Jersey and Mrs. Murphy, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in procession to the 9/11 Memorial Glade.

"Independence Day is a fitting occasion to re-open the 9/11 Memorial," Bloomberg said. "As we celebrate the revolutionary declaration issued 244 years ago—and the promise of equality for all that we are still working to fulfill—we also honor all who have paid the cost, and borne the burden, of sustaining American freedom. The 9/11 Memorial is a powerful tribute to those we lost, and to the character of our nation. The sense of hope and renewal that we see reflected in the pools is especially important and urgent right now, as the world continues to grapple with the worst public health crisis in a century, and the tremendous hardships and loss of life it has caused. We hope the opening of the Memorial will remind visitors of our capacity to persevere through crisis, unite in common purpose, and come through stronger.”

Dignitaries stand socially distanced and wearing face masks during a small ceremony on the 9/11 Memorial plaza.
Photo by Jin S. Lee

After the morning ceremony, the Memorial opened at 1 p.m. for 9/11 families and the extended 9/11 community, as well as workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This sacred site of remembrance and reflection is made possible through the generous support of visitors and donors, who help fund its operation.

The Memorial and the Museum were closed since March 13 as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the tri-state area and the nation. Museum admissions provide the main source of revenue to cover operational costs and provide free access to the Memorial and the financial fallout has been significant. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has launched a major to fundraising campaign to sustain the Memorial whose operation depends on admissions revenue from the still-closed Museum.

As a national heritage site, the Memorial is a physical testimony to the possibility of recovery and renewal in New York City and the United States. It also symbolizes the spirit of healing and unity.

The Memorial is now open with adjusted hours—from 1 to 8 p.m., seven days a week—and new operational safeguards, including regular deep cleanings and public safety measures, developed with guidance from public health experts to ensure the health and safety of all visitors and staff.

A powerful symbol of our country’s resilience, your generosity now makes our mission possible, as we work to reopen the 9/11 Memorial Museum with a renewed sense of purpose.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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