New York, Sep 13 (IANS): The National September 11 Memorial here was opened to the public Monday, a decade after the 2001 terror attacks that brought down the World Trade Center.
The tree-filled memorial has pools, and the names of those who died in the attacks are inscribed on the bronze panels that surround them, Xinhua reported.
City officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and many of those who helped create the memorial were present at the site to welcome the first visitors.
"New Yorkers, Americans and people around the world now have a beautiful, dignified place to pay tribute to the memory of the 2,983 men, women and children we lost in the tragic attacks of 9/11," said Bloomberg at the opening ceremony.
As visitors walked along the lane and traced their fingers over the names of the victims, they were deeply moved. Many visitors made pencil-and-paper rubbings of the names to take back home. Some left flowers or stuffed messages into the letters.
"When we walked in, those images were popping in my head from 10 years ago," said Laura Pajar of Las Vegas.
"But when I saw the memorial, all of that went away. This is so peaceful, and you kind of forget about what happened and you look toward the future."
About 7,000 people registered online for free tickets to visit on opening day, and 400,000 are signed up for the coming months.