New York is one of the most exciting, vibrant cities in the world and there is no shortage of interesting and fun places for guests to experience and explore. But it is also impossible to ignore that New York was the site of 9/11, the most tragic and devastating terrorist attack in history. New York changed after 9/11 — so did the rest of the world — and anyone interested in learning the city’s history or paying their respects might like to consider taking our 9/11 World Trade Center Area Tour. In this blog, we’ll take a little time to describe what you can expect from the 9/11 Museum tour and we hope it will be of interest. However, no article — no matter how detailed — is an adequate substitute for taking the tour yourself.
City Tales Sightseeing’s World Trade Center tour has been carefully designed to help visitors gain a deeper understanding of the history behind 9/11 and to experience the various exhibits and memorials that make up the entire World Trade Center complex. On the tour, each guest has a personal headset, which allows everyone in the group to hear the guide clearly. Our knowledgeable guides are all New Yorkers with a vast knowledge of their city and the 9/11 attacks. They will tell you more than any guidebooks ever could, offering knowledge, insight, and meaningful commentary throughout the tour.
In the 9/11 Museum tour, you will visit the 9/11 Memorial, the Fireman’s Memorial, Ground Zero, St. Paul’s Chapel and The Oculus. However, to focus this guide a little, we will concentrate on three core parts of the tour: the Historical Exhibit, Foundation Hall, and Memorial Hall.
Looking back on 9/11, it was such a chaotic time — both in the US and throughout the world — that it can be hard for people to understand what happened with any kind of clarity. This is why the Historical Exhibit in the 9/11 Museum is such an important part of the museum. In the exhibit, you will learn about the story of the Twin Towers, which includes extensive video footage from the disaster. This exhibition also contains debris from the towers, including the antenna from the previous North Tower.
The Historical Exhibit tells the narrative of the 9/11 attacks from different perspectives, including radio transmissions from the brave men and women of New York’s emergency services and recorded phone calls from passengers on the planes. This portion of the tour is emotional, but it’s also very interesting, and you’re sure to see the catastrophe from a completely different perspective.
Foundation Hall provides visitors with a more in-depth look at the foundations of the original Twin Towers, discussing the engineering and architectural details behind the original designs. Foundation Hall also looks at the problems engineers faced when constructing the towers and in clearing away the debris after the attack. The original towers were architectural wonders and so is the new One World Trade Center. Discussing the engineering details and achievements behind the towers is an important part of the overall story and a fascinating part of the tour.
Memorial Hall is the most emotional part of the tour. 9/11 was a huge tragedy, taking the lives of just under three thousand people. Memorial Hall attempts to tell the stories of the people we lost and to offer visitors an opportunity to pay their respects. On this part of the tour, you will see personal items form the victims, such as shoes, clothing, company ID badges, and various other items recovered from the disaster site. Memorial Hall also displays photographs of every single victim of 9/11, the Pentagon attack, and Shanksville (the lesser-known Pennsylvania borough where the plane crashed that is believed to have been headed towards the White House).
In Memorial Hall, visitors can use computer kiosks to browse through the different pictures of the victims and click on each image to learn about them. There are stories about every single victim — all provided by friends and family members. This portion of the tour is somber and emotional, but it is also deeply moving. The care and respect afforded to each and every person who lost their life is perhaps the most important part of the 9/11 story. You couldn’t possibly read everyone’s story, but you can read a few stories and pay your respects.
Our World Trade Center Area tour runs daily, most days of the year. We hope this guide has given a few readers a better idea of what they can expect from the tour, but if you have any more questions about the 9/11 tour or our range of New York City tours, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Begin planning your next trip to NYC today!
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