The most expensive public memorial in America was finally open yesterday, exactly ten years after the tragic 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center twin towers. Before starting to build something on the site, a selection jury of 13 had to analyze over 5,200 ideas and choose only one. When this process was finally completed, the plans for the Reflecting Absence memorial began to take a clearer shape. The mastermind behind the project was Michael Arad, a New York- based architect with talent and vision.
Bringing his idea to life cost a whopping $500 million and it will certainly bring numerous tourists to the site of the tragic event. Reflecting Absence covers more than half of the World Trade center Site (which covers 16 acres) and the main attraction points are the two waterfalls above reflecting pools, which can be found right in the footprints of the original tower buildings. The twin falls are the largest man-made waterfalls on the continent, with eight pumps pushing 52,000 gallons of water every minute.
Also on the site there is a memorial plaza, a PATH Station and a Memorial Museum. Numerous trees were brought to the site from within 500 miles of the WTC complex, but also from other areas affected by the impact, like Pennsylvania and Maryland. There is a clearing in the park, called the Memorial Glade, where ceremonies and other civic events can take place. Another special place was reserved for the Survivor Tree, a Callery Pear that survived the violent attacks.
A list of the 2,800 people (men, women and children) that lost their lives in the attack will be always there for everybody to see, together with numerous artifacts, architectural exhibits and a series of narratives about the tragic event, on permanent display at the Memorial Museum.