The entry begins at the security checkpoint, where visitors are screened with metal detectors. Once through security, the visitors enter the Memorial Plaza, near the reflecting pools. The ramp descends to the lobby at the ground level, exactly where the foundation of the World Trade Center stood.
The open space known as the Foundation Hall features the original foundation walls of the Twin Towers and displays a wide range of large-scale artifacts. This exhibition helps contextualize the events of 9/11.
The outdoor memorial features two reflecting pools set in the ground of the former Twin Towers. The names of the 2,977 victims are inscribed on bronze parapets surrounding the pools, creating a powerful tribute.
The emotional and solemn experience of the exhibition also showcases historical exhibits, survivor stories, and educational programs. Throughout the museum, visitors are encouraged to reflect on the events of September 11, 2001.
The museum is run by a non-profit organization, The National September. The mission of the organization is to honor the lives lost in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the February 26, 1993, World Trade Center bombing and to educate future generations about the historical significance of these events. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the memorial and museum, as well as the development and implementation of educational programs and public outreach initiatives. The organization relies on donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations to fund its operations and programs. A real estate development and management firm, Silverstein Properties, not only played a significant role in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks but also donated $10 million to the project.
The museum's admission tickets can be purchased online through TicketsToDo. The tickets allow access to both the memorial and the museum pavilions, which feature exhibits on the events of 9/11 and the rescue and recovery effort that followed. The museum also has a Memorial Tour that includes walking tours of the surrounding area, including the South Pool, the Memorial Glade, and the footprints of the Twin Towers.
The museum is located at the World Trade Center site in the Financial District and can be accessed via Greenwich Street.