The first pictures of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero have been revealed before the 10th anniversary on Sunday.
Ground Zero, the site which people once associated with death, devastation and abject terror has now turned, after 10 years, into a place of peace, tranquillity and sadness.
Starting with Sunday, September 11, 2011, Ground Zero – once a black hole of despair – will become known as the National September 11th Memorial.
On the places where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre once stood now lies two granite pools in its footprints with waterfalls cascading 30 feet (about 10 meters) below.
The one-acre size pools sprawl out across the World Trade Center plaza – one to signify each fallen tower.
The pools are bordered by bronze panels inscribed by the names of all those who perished at the hands of terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, at the Pentagon, in New York and in Pennsylvania; when night time falls, the panels will be backlit to shine against the void.
400 swamp white trees line the plaza and a small clearing known as the Memorial Glade is set aside for special ceremonies, according to the New York Post.
A navy-blue flag adorned with 40 gold stars to represent the passengers and crew members who died on United Airlines Flight 93 billows high above the site.
A white ring encircles around an image of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre to form the shape of a pentagon to honour the 184 who perished both at the Pentagon and aboard American Airlines Flight 77.
The Twin Towers, standing in the centre of the flag with the numbers nine and 11 and the words ‘we remember’ represents the thousands who perished on the morning of September 11 when two planes crashed into the buildings.
The 9/11 Memorial’s designer, Michael Arad, was a young, little-known architect whose plan was selected out of 5,200 proposals.
“These two acre-sized voids are like a moment of silence and what we do with that moment of silence depends on us. We just want to make sure everything is done very carefully. We’re building for the ages,” Michael Arad told CBS.
Joe Daniels, president of the National 9/11 Memorial told the New York Post:
“We remember the towers standing, the towers falling, the devastation on the pile, the empty pit.
“And to move to a place of grace and beauty is something that the entire country can feel proud of.”
The National Memorial opens to the 9/11 families on Sunday and to the public on Monday. Visitors must reserve visitor passes in advance on the memorial’s Website, 911memorial.org.