Photos: Opening Day at the National 9/11 Memorial

The South Pool, looking north towards the museum entrance. (Compare the difference from April 2010 and June 2011)

Jake Dobkin / Gothamist

All visitors have to go through metal detectors on the way in

<p>Looking across the grass lawn toward 1 WTC. <br/></p>

<p>On the left, the <a href=";id=7857410">survivor tree</a>. On the right, the base of a lamp-post evokes the original towers.<br/></p>

<p>A closeup of the survivor tree, with a ribbon.<br/></p>

<p>Architect <a href="">Michael Arad</a> was on hand to discuss the memorial, which he designed. <br/></p>

<p>The memorial panels are lit from beneath, and contain a heating and cooling system to keep them the right temperature throughout the year. In the background, you can see the sluice-gates that keep the water flowing neatly over the fountain.<br/></p>

<p>There is plenty of security at the Memorial. Tons of police officers, dogs, and security guards.<br/></p>

<p>Employees from the company that fabricated the memorial panels were on hand to polish them up before the public arrived. <br/></p>

A security guard in front of the entrance to the Museum in 2011

<p>Names on the memorial are grouped by meaningful associations, like fire houses, companies, and flight numbers.<br/></p>

<p>The fountains are very large: about an acre each, and 40' deep. 26,000 gallons of water flow through per minute, and the sound of all that water flowing over the edges is both loud and strangely calming. In background, work continues on the site of the future 2 and 3 WTC towers. Lots of construction is still going on along the edges of the site.<br/></p>

<p>Another shot of the lawn, looking towards 4 WTC.<br/></p>

<p>A reflection seen through a gap in the edge of the South Pool.<br/></p>