Today the eagerly awaited dedication for the 9/11 Museum opened. All eyes of the crowd were on the victims and their families that attended despite the controversy surrounding the opening of this museum. The very real tragedy that befell these families touched the hearts of all those who attended, including dignitaries like Former President Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton, former Mayor Bloomberg, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, Rudolph Giuliani who helped hold New York City, together during that heart-breaking time, among others. "Standing beside the foundation of the former World Trade Center, inside the new museum built below the spot where they fell, President Barack Obama spoke about the heroes of that day, and the nation's resilience," added http://www.silive.com.
"Like the great wall and bedrock that embrace us today, nothing can ever break us. Nothing can change who we are as Americans," he said today (February 15) at the dedication of the National September 11 Memorial, added the report.
"The museum - after more than a decade of fits and starts - opened to families and survivors Thursday, and will open to the general public on May 21. The president toured it Thursday morning, and spoke in its grand, cavernous Foundation Hall, bounded on one side by the original slurry wall built to keep the Twin Towers safe from the Hudson River," added SI Live.
Among its exhibits is "In Memoriam," detailing the lives of nearly 3,000 killed in the terror attacks. "We can touch their names, and hear their voices, and glimpse the small items that speak to the beauty of their lives," Obama said to the audience, according to the report.
"But before he even spoke of the museum, Obama spoke of one particular hero: The man in the red bandana. The financial worker rescued people huddled at an elevator bank on the 78th Floor of the South Tower, sending them down a staircase. A bandana covering his mouth and nose, he led them through smoke and fire, down the stairs, to safety. He carried one woman on his shoulders. He kept returning inside the tower, up the stairs, to help more people -- until the tower fell," Obama said to the audience, added SI Live.
"Later in his remarks, Obama identified that man as Welles Crowther, 24, as photos of him displayed projected on the concrete wall behind him. A volunteer firefighter, he sprung into action," added the article today.
"After the planes hit, he put on that bandana and spent his final moments saving lives," Obama said to the crowd, according to the article on SI Live.
"Those we lost live on through us in the families who love them still, in the friends who will remember them always, and in a nation that will honor them now and forever," he said, touching the audience and the families of the victims of that tragic day.
Former mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the museum, also spoke at the dedication. "It is the witness to tragedy. It is an affirmation of human life. It is a reminder to us and all future generations that freedom carries heavy responsibility," Bloomberg said to the audience. "And it is a reflection of our belief that the true hope of humanity resides in our compassion and our kindness to one another."
Tribute was also paid to those killed at the Pentagon and on United 93, the fight that passengers took back from hijackers and crashed in Pennsylvania before it could reach Washington, D.C. "In giving their lives, how many lives has they saved?" New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked the audience in his remarks, added SI Live.
"Many in the room wiped tears as a voicemail from a mother to her son on the flight was played - she urged him to overpower the hijackers, and to call if he could," added the report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said items like shoes tell a great deal about the attacks, according to the report. "Each piece carries with it another story -- one that might have been our own," he said. "For don't we all own a pair of shoes we wear to work, that could have been the ones we wore that day?"
He spoke about another touching museum exhibit, the "Survivor Stairs," 38 concrete steps that led hundreds of survivors out of the World Trade Center Plaza onto Vesey Street. Visitors can walk alongside the stairs in the new museum, according to today's story.
"As you do, imagine for a moment that these hard concrete stairs were once, for hundreds of people, the last and long-sought path to survival," he said to the crowd, according to the article today.
"Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani - whose presence at Ground Zero often served as an inspiration - spoke about the search and rescue efforts at the site. He spoke of the collapse of the towers - how no one survived in the South Tower. It seemed impossible anyone could have survived the North Tower collapse," added SI Live. "And yet, they kept digging, and digging, and digging," Giuliani said, added SI Live.
And eventually they found Lt. Mickey Kross, as well as other firefighters and Port Authority police officials, who had somehow survived in a stairwell as the building collapsed, he said in his remarks, according to SI Live today.
The 9/11 Museum, an often controversial reminder of the families the victims of 9/11 left behind, offered us a message of hope. The families survived, New York City survived, and so too did the indomitable spirit of the victims of the Twin Towers, who were gone too soon, and now can never be forgotten. The Museum, like the 9/11 Memorial stands as a testament to those who lost their lives and broke our hearts. We will remember them in their heroic and touching pictures, the articles and artifacts at the museum, and the stories told by their loved ones who have shared so many touching fragments of their lives over the years. The First Responders and the victims of 9/11 live on in the National 9/11 Museum. Staten Island lost so many lives that day that this museum shall always remind us of those we loved and left behind. Let us never forget their faces and the stories of heroism that are spotlighted inside the soon to be opened museum. For more information about obtaining tickets to attend the museum this summer visit http://www.911memorial.org.