Like many others, I lost friends on Sept. 11, 2001.
As a museum professional and historian dedicated to the study of objects and their role in culture, I am pleased to highlight the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Liberty Street, New York City, New York, and its new museum that recalls that historic day.
The museum debuted with ceremony and remembrance recently.
Shown in the photo above, courtesy of Jin Lee, is New York Fire Department Ladder 3 on display at the National September 11 Museum.
The memorial and museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.
The memorial, designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, honors the 2,983 people who were killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993.
The memorial features two reflecting pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Tower buildings.
Designed by architect firm Davis Brody Bond, of New York City, the Sept. 11 memorial is sited below ground and displays artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while telling the stories of loss, compassion and recovery of the 2001 and 1993 attacks.
This is achieved through displays, multimedia and interactive exhibits.
"The magnitude of the historic importance of the site and its symbolism made it essential for us to find a balance between the collective and the individual experience," said architect Steven Davis, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
The architectural firm was established in 1952 by Lewis Davis and Samuel Brody and became Davis Brody Bond in 1990.
Today, it is one of the leading architectural firms in America.
Over the years, the firm has designed buildings for universities such as Cornell, Northwestern, Princeton and Columbia.
Also, they have designed museum buildings, including The Frick Collection and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Before the public opening of the museum, there were a few days set aside when the museum hosted 9/11 families, President and Michelle Obama, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, survivors and residents of lower Manhattan.
The museum was kept open for 24 hours to host these individuals in the same way that rescue and recovery personnel worked continuously at ground zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy.
The museum opened to the general public on May 21. It boasts 110,000 square feet of exhibit space which features interactive, multimedia displays, personal narratives and impressive monumental and uniquely personal artifacts.
The breathtaking "In Memoriam" exhibition remembers the people and reminds visitors of 9/11.
A three-part, mainly-historical exhibition leads visitors through the background of the attacks, the events of the day and the aftermath.
"The museum tells heartbreaking stories of unimaginable loss, but also inspiring stories of courage and compassion. Its opening honors the commitment we made to 9/11 family members and to all future generations: That we would never forget those we lost or the terrible lessons we learned that day," said Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the Sept. 11 memorial and former New York City mayor.
Museum donations came from people from across the country and around the world, including New York City school children who donated their pennies to the project.
It is anticipated that the museum's inaugural summer of 2014 will be a busy one with visitors coming to the memorial and museum from all parts of the world. I urge you to visit, learn and remember.
There is an admission fee for adults, with discounted rates for seniors, veterans, college students and youths.
Admission is free on Tuesdays from 5 to 8 pm.
For more information, visit www.911memorial.org.
Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author, and award-winning TV personality, Dr. Lori presents appraisal events to audiences worldwide.