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Sept. 11 Museum displays heart-wrenching artifacts

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York's new Sept. 11 museum is a monument to how the terror attacks that day shaped history, from its heart-wrenching artifacts to the underground space that houses them amid the remnants of the fallen twin towers' foundations. It also reflects the complexity of crafting a public understanding of the terrorist attacks and reconceiving ground zero.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum was set to be dedicated Thursday and open to the public May 21.

The museum faced financing squabbles and construction challenges. Conflicts over its content underlined the sensitivity of memorializing the dead while honoring survivors and rescuers, of balancing the intimate with the international.

The Keepers of 9/11

Holocaust and war memorials have confronted some of the same questions. But the 9/11 museum exemplifies the work it takes to "develop a museum program amidst this range of powerful feelings and differing individuals and issues that get raised," said Bruce Altshuler, the director of New York University's museum studies program. He isn't involved in the Sept. 11 museum.

The museum harbors both personal possessions and artifacts that became public symbols of survival and loss. There is the battered "survivors' staircase" that hundreds used to escape the burning skyscrapers, the memento-covered last column removed during the ground zero cleanup and the cross-shaped steel beams that became an emblem of remembrance. (An atheists' group has sued, so far unsuccessfully, seeking to stop the display of the cross).

Portraits and profiles describe the nearly 3,000 people killed by the Sept. 11 attacks and the 1993 trade center bombing. Nearly 2,000 oral histories give voice to the memories of survivors, first responders, victims' relatives and others. In one, a mother remembers a birthday dinner at the trade center's Windows on the World restaurant the night before her daughter died at work at the towers.

The museum also looks at the lead-up to Sept. 11 and its legacy.

Members of the museum's interfaith clergy advisory panel raised concerns that it plans to show a documentary film, about al-Qaida, that they said unfairly links Islam and terrorism. The museum has said the documentary is objective and its scholarship solid.

While some Sept. 11 victims' relatives have embraced the museum, others have denounced its $24 general-public ticket price as unseemly and its underground location as disrespectful, particularly because unidentified remains are being stored in a private repository there. Other victims' families see it as a fitting resting place.

The museum and the memorial plaza above it cost a total of $700 million to build. They will cost $60 million a year to run, more than Arlington National Cemetery and more than 15 times as much as the museum that memorializes the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Sept. 11 museum organizers have noted that security alone costs about $10 million a year.

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Tim May 14 2014 at 3:25 PM

why not just use the 10 million to feed all the hungry kids in the U,S.A.

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3 replies
jjr526 May 14 2014 at 5:53 PM

Islam, a festering boil on the skin of humanity.

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Danielle May 14 2014 at 6:03 PM

Wow... $24.00 general admission ? Is the money to be used for paying for the buildings, or ? I honestly don't think that any of the family members of those lost in 9/11 should have to pay a fee to go to the museum. Their family members already paid in full. As far as the unidentified remains being stored... What do the protestors expect? It's been many years, and they need to be stored in a climate controlled area in case DNA or other information becomes available to identify it. I don't see it as disrespectful if everything has been done to identify the remains, and they are not just put in a box somewhere. It's a lot better being in the museum than being like in a cemetery of unknown. It's sad, no matter how you look at it.

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John Roberson May 14 2014 at 6:05 PM

would not go if the fee was nothing. Just a show and it was a waste of money to build.

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2 replies
rmg237 John Roberson May 14 2014 at 6:30 PM


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kmcc895370 John Roberson May 14 2014 at 7:33 PM

But yet I'll bet you'll pay a lot more than $24 to go to a stadium and watch teams run around chasing a ball and banging into each other and pay rediculous prices for beer and wings.

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recondo2012 May 14 2014 at 6:20 PM

I just hope it will be a PRIVATE security company that handles the security. Cops need to focus on the job that they were hired to perform.....FIGHTING CRIME.....not making thousands upon thousands of hard earned taxpayers money fueling all the unneeded police details. Police work is beginning to be their PART TIME JOBS after details. In any case, good luck with the museum!

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henry_bevis May 14 2014 at 6:25 PM

There is a link to Islam and terrorism. Not doubt about that at all.

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rmg237 May 14 2014 at 6:32 PM

Nobody is forcing people to go, stay home there will be less of a crowd

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lkemer May 14 2014 at 6:46 PM

If anyone is not familiar with Dr. Alan Sabrosky, I suggest you copy and paste the following links to learn the true story of 9/11. The following is a one on one interview with Dr. Sabrosky depicting the true occurrence of September 11, 2001. The two links below Dr. Sabrosky's interview page are just more facts to acknowledge. Also be aware that in addition to the twin towers, which had planes flown into them, a third building also went down through imploding due to wired explosives. It was not the Muslims but rather the Jews that are responsible for 9/11. BE INFORMED.

Traitors in our Government Allegiance to Israel


Traitors in our Government Allegiance to Israel

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8 replies
mmagdaleno May 14 2014 at 6:46 PM

if it costs to upkeep this center, then so be it : we need to charge anyone entering. also, why must the majority of us bow down to atheists' opinions of something that is 'sacred' to us?

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3 replies
Barbara Coran Schoen May 14 2014 at 6:59 PM

Wow, a story about the 9/11 memorial & museum & we get who cares, Adolph Obama, too much money, etc.... I've been to the Holocaust museum in DC & the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles & I am not Jewish but unlike some of you I have empathy, a heart, I want to make our world a better place. Not repeat our past mistakes. Some of you inconsiderate people should try to find your humanity because its clearly lost.

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