9/11 Memorial Opens to Public

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SEPTEMBER 11: Families gather around the the South Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City.

The American public was given its first opportunity Monday to visit New York's National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which opened at 10 a.m. Under tight security, a few thousand people were to enter the eight-acre plaza, walk among the white oak trees, look at the fountains in the footprints of the Twin Towers, and read the names of the 2,977 people who died in the Sept. 11 and earlier 1993 World Trade Center attacks. It is the first time since 2001 that ordinary Americans are able to enter the World Trade Center grounds. Access, however, is tightly controlled: passes must be obtained in advance and will allow for entrance only at a set time.