The National September 11 Memorial opens to the public Monday in New York City, more than a decade after the twin towers of the World Trade Center were taken down by terrorists.
Visitors will see for the first time the reflecting pools surrounded by bronze panels engraved with the names of those lost on September 11, 2001 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Sitting in the footprints of where the towers once stood, the dark granite, cube-shaped pools, each about a half-hectare in size, are the largest man-made waterfalls in North America.
Hundreds of trees line the paths to the serene pools that offer an escape in the midst of the bustling city.
The National September 11 Museum sits in the same plaza as the memorial and is due to open next year. Several office towers and an underground portion of the site also are part of the project, which is expected to be complete in 2015.
Victims' families toured the memorial on the 10th anniversary, Sunday, along with President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. With the hum of the waterfalls in the background, the names of the nearly 3,000 people lost 10 years ago were read aloud during an anniversary ceremony.