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Temporary Memorial to Open at World Trade Center

New York officials have announced plans to open an interim memorial at the site of the World Trade Center.

An oral history project, called StoryCorps, will open on July 12 in a recording booth located on the site of the former World Trade Center. The StoryCorps booth will be open to visitors, but only survivors of the attack and friends and family members of victims will be able to record their experiences and reminiscences.

The Story Corps booth is part of a national project that has already recorded 2000 interviews. Officials say it is part of the largest oral history project ever undertaken and will, eventually, collect more than 250,000 interviews.

The second part of the temporary memorial, the Tribute Center, will open across the street from the destroyed complex early next year. It will include information about the 2001 attack and the 1993 bombing at the site. It will also house a gallery for exhibitions and educational programs and provide walking tours.

The temporary memorial will bring greater dignity to the site, which has become a major tourist attraction and is now full of vendors selling photographs and souvenirs. New York State Governor George Pataki says the interim memorial will help heal family members and inform the millions of visitors who flock to the site every year.

"If you come down here any time, any day and there are people looking down at the site and imagining in their minds what happened September 11th,” he said. “Now they can still do that but then they will be able to go across the street to the Tribute Center and be told the actual story by people who understand it and by people who were here on that day. I think that is an important thing for New York to have."

A permanent memorial is scheduled to open in 2009 as part of a redeveloped site that will include offices, apartments and a cultural complex.