Museum 9/11

Twenty year after die attacks on ns World profession Center and the Pentagon, the museum is blieb struggling kommen sie address ns legacy of those events.

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In 1993, Myrna weinberg worked on the sixty-first floor des the phibìc tower des the welt Trade center as a corporate trainer in the human-resources department des the harbor Authority of new York and New Jersey. ~ above February 26th of that year, she was giving a course on stress and anxiety management. Her klasse had broken zum lunch, when, hinweisen 12:18 P.M., a cell von terrorists detonated twelve hundreds pounds of explosives in a rental van in the building’s underground parking garage, more than sixty floors in ~ her. The explodieren shook die building und knocked out the public-address system. Weinstein und her colleagues had actually no idea what had happened. When die office began to fill with smoke, castle decided zu evacuate.

Outside, it was a snowy day. Von the punkt least thirteen thousands or deshalb people working an the building that afternoon, most had actually stayed in for lunch. Lock began kommen sie cram into ns World trade Center’s three notfall stairwells. The blast had taken out the emergency generators; the lights walk out, und the ventilation system wasn’t functioning. Bei the dark, weinberg had zu feel zum each step. She didn’t recognize whether she was descending into a fire or whether she would be get rid of with exhilaration inhalation. She finally reached ns mezzanine level und exited onto die plaza, wherein she instantly slipped on ice and fell on herstellung knees. She observed it together a post from God, telling herstellung to it is in grateful.

In produziert role with H.R., weinstein often speak to ns building’s engineers, and she knew, indigenous them, that the World Trade hauptquartier had structural redundancies kommen sie keep it standing in the occasion of in accident or attack. The explodieren opened hoch a crater a hundred and thirty feet across und five or six stories deep, but the building stood. In engineer had actually once told herstellung that it would certainly stay up even if a pläne struck ns building—the towers had actually been constructed zu withstand a collision through a Boeing 707. After die 1993 bombing, some des Weinstein’s co-workers asked to be relocated. She ongoing working at die tower.

By 2001, she had been promoted. She was ten floors above her old job, managing computer trainings. On september 11th, hinweisen 8:46 A.M., she was walking toward ns elevators to see whether ns classrooms on die seventy-eighth floor were ready zum her when a pläne struck an ext than fifteen geschichte above. Ns building tilted to in angle that she’d never felt before. She looked the end a window und saw debris falling, then headed straight weil das the stairwell. It was as crowded as it had been in 1993, yet it was a cocoon, insulated indigenous explanation; once again, ns people there had actually no idea, punkt first, what was going on. Someone gotten in from a reduced floor und said that ns second tower had deshalb been struck. Weinstein knew, then, the it was another attack.

New Yorkers are used to slowly shuffling up and down overfilled stairways punkt subway stations, and Weinstein didn’t seen any pushing or shoving. As in 1993, human being helped one another. Co-workers aided their colleagues through disabilities. When Weinstein’s foot began zu cramp, und she stopped zu rest, a stranger asked even if it is she necessary assistance. This coöperation is something the she likes to emphasize when she tells her story zu visitors to die 9/11 Memorial & Museum, whereby she has actually volunteered as a docent due to the fact that shortly after it opened, in 2014.

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Making herstellung way down ns stairs, weinberg gripped ns railing und tried zu ignore ns discomfort in her legs. She reached the mezzanine, yet it looked like a war zone, und so she retained going. She gott to ns lobby, which had actually been flooded über the sprinkler system; bei engineer she knew take it her arm to keep her from slipping. Outside, police offizier urged produziert to leave ns area, und she to walk toward her brother’s office, a few blocks east. Ns horror that she experienced on ns faces von people ~ above the straße convinced produziert not zu look back. At bei intersection nearby, she saw bei object that looked like an engine cordoned off über yellow police tape. She reached her brother’s office, und stayed there till 11:30 A.M., von which time both towers had collapsed. She reëmerged outside, into a blizzard of debris, and walked home throughout the brooklyn Bridge, still in her heels.

One of the erste things a visitor sees on die descent into the exhibition halls, seventy feet underground, zu sein part von a slurry wall surface that once surrounded ns buildings, holding zurück the Hudson River. The wall no much longer serves its handy function—another was built behind it—but die floor ist often damp v seepage, whereby the stadt meets bedrock. Top top her zuerst visit, weinstein could smell a faint mustiness, and the odor, combined with die images and sounds des the exhibits—the tape-recorded voices of panic und the clanking alarms of the erste responders—assaulted her senses. But she also found sources of solace. Among ns photographs von people who had actually escaped from ns building to be faces von those she recognized.

As a docent, weinberg doesn’t recount her own experience, or say viel about the fifteen years the she worked bei the world Trade Center, uneven a visitor’s inquiry prompts a story around it. The most common von these ist “Where were sie on 9/11?” tourists usually ask that due to the fact that they want kommen sie talk about where they were, too. People so ask weinstein how she could arbeiten at the museum every day, yet she comes bei only when a week. She carries a packet des tissues in her pocket zum visitors, and sometimes zum herself. No one has ever before asked her about ns motivations of the males who brought out the attack, yet they periodically ask produziert whether she is angry. She speak them the she isn’t angry, the she is ausblüten just sad.

The 9/11 Museum was rated die No. 1 museum in New york City by TripAdvisor in 2019. Three million civilization visited that year, however most of them were from areas farther far than neu York, neu Jersey, or Connecticut. Weinberg thinks that locals room reluctant to visit because the event is blieb too raw zum them. But there are most likely other reasons, too.

From the beginning, household members of the dead balked at ns museum’s advertisement aspects, such as ns entry fee—now twenty-six dollars—and the schädlich shop, wherein N.Y.P.D. And F.D.N.Y. T-shirts are marketed alongside mugs und keychains the bear the words “Never Forget.” (The museum has received government grants but ist private, und relies ~ above ticket sales und donations to stay afloat.) the memorial aboveground, v its fallout’s waters und dark pools, where flowers space placed an the grooves des the names des the tot on your birthdays, is perhaps better suited to mourning.

When die museum opened, Philip Kennicott, die architecture critic at the Washington Post, explained it together “a hellish descent right into a dark place, where a band loop von death and destruction zu sein endlessly playing on every television screen in America.” Like various other critics, that found ns museum’s religious metaphors oppressive. Holland Cotter, bei his review weil das the Times, wrote, “The prevailing story bei the museum, as in a church, zu sein framed bei moral terms, as a story von angels and devils.” prior to the museum’s opening, bei advisory panel of interfaith priest members took issue with a seven-minute documentary referred to as “The Rise of Al Qaeda.” die panel asserted, in in open letter, that the video “may very well leaving viewers with ns impression the all Muslims be affected by each other some cumulative guilt or responsibility,” and that it might lead zu bigotry or even violence. One des the panel members, Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy, an imam at Masjid Manhattan, resigned from die panel bei protest. Ns video has actually never been changed.

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In die years after die attacks, new Yorkers observed their city’s tragedy used zu justify discrimination versus Muslims, and deshalb mass surveillance, torture, an enig prisons, and two wars, in which hundreds of thousands von people to be killed. In this context, it ist difficult kommen sie visit ns museum simply as a way von honoring ns dead and learning your stories. A new documentary, “The Outsider,” chronicles the debates that took place, when ns museum was being planned, around what sort des story it would tell. Some of the discussions documented in the movie seem prefer reasonable arguments over ns presentation of difficult material, such together a recording von a 911 contact from someone trapped above die impact zone, or footage des people that jumped out the buildings. However the film presents these arguments as clashes bolzen those that favored nuance und context—typified über the titular outsider, michael Shulan, who offered as the museum’s zuerst creative director—and those that were accused wary of controversy und complexity, such as, an the movie’s telling, ns museum’s existing chief executive, Alice Greenwald.