On September 11th, 2001, the unimaginable happened – thousands of Americans went to work like any other day and ended up losing their lives in devastating terrorist attacks. Although any New Yorker who was living in the city at that time is scarred by their experiences, we New Yorkers have proved our strength and resilience by rebounding from these traumatic experiences. The new One World Trade Center plaza is evidence of our tenacity and shows that we come back stronger than ever once we’re knocked down. Our Manhattan workers compensation lawyers have visited these memorials several times and thought we’d share some details from the experience.

9/11 Memorial Plaza

We all remember where we were when he heard the news that New York City and Washington DC were under attack by terrorists. This cataclysmic event is engrained in all Americans, but especially those who were living in New York City when the tragedy unfolded. The 9/11 Memorial Plaza is at the site of the original Twin Towers and memorializes all 2,977e people who died that fateful September day, along with the six victims from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Victims’ Names

The victims’ names are inscribed on 76 bronze plates which are attached to parapets on the walls of memorial pools. These names are arranged based on an algorithm which creates “meaningful adjacencies” based on relationships between the victims – including proximity when the attacks occurred, company or organization affiliations, and in response to 1,200 requests from family members of victims.

The Survivor Tree

An 8-foot-tall Callery pear tree was recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center site in October 2001. After its recovery, the tree was badly burned and only had one remaining living branch. It was originally planted in the 1970s near buildings four and five.

In November 2001, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation moved the tree to the Arthur Ross Nursery in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. It was replanted in the Bronx on November 11, 2001. Very few expected the tree to survive, but it began to show signs of new growth in the spring. The tree was replanted again in March 2010 when it was uprooted during a storm.

Finally, in December of 2010, the now 30-foot-tall survivor tree was returned to the World Trade Center site in a special ceremony attended by Mayor Bloomberg, city officials, survivors, and rescue workers. Six other “survivor trees” have been planted in the surrounding areas.

This tree acts as a symbol of hope, rebirth, and resilience in the face of terror. It’s a reminder of how strong New Yorkers have been in the years following these tragic attacks.

9/11 Memorial Museum

In May 2014, the September 11 Museum was opened to the public. This museum makes use of 23,000 images, 10,300 artifacts, 500 hours over video, and nearly 2,000 oral histories (provided by friends and families) to tell the stories of the people who died that day. It’s built on the former site of a metallic sculpture called the Sphere, which was damaged in the attack and latter transported for display in Battery Park.

There are a variety of exhibitions which explore the effects of the September 11th attacks in different ways. Some noteworthy examples include:

  • Rendering the Unthinkable – This exhibition features works by 13 New York City artists who were affected by 9/11. These pieces explore the unimaginable destruction and loss of innocent lives experienced during this difficult time. Artists in the exhibit include Gustavo Bonevardi, Monika Bravo, Eric Fischl, Donna Levinstone, Michael Mulhern, and many more.
  • Historical Exhibition – This display discusses 9/11 in three parts: the events of that day, the events leading up to that day, and how the world has changed after the attacks. This story is told using various artifacts, images, first-person testimony, and archival audio and video recordings.
  • Memorial Exhibition – This exhibition allows visitors to learn more about all 2,983 victims of both World Trade Center terrorist attacks. You can learn about their lives through the use of touch-screen tables, which include audio remembrances from family members, friends, and former colleagues.