Tribute Center, 9/11 Memorial and Museum come together

BY HELAINA N. HOVITZ | On November 21, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and the Tribute WTC Visitor Center announced a new partnership to support programming for visitors to the World Trade Center’s memorial site.

The Tribute WTC Visitor Center will provide the September 11 Memorial and Museum with portraits of all 3,000 victims for a special memorial exhibition to commemorate all of the lives lost in the attacks, and will continue training people directly impacted by 9/11 to lead on-site tours.

“This new partnership will allow us to preserve the memories of the victims and ensure that all who visit the Memorial and Museum are educated and informed about that unforgettable day,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, chairman of the National September 11 Memorial Board.

Since 2006, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center has been providing “Person to Person History” as a means of linking visitors who want to understand how the attacks of 9/11 directly affected the local community. Survivors, victims’ family members, first responders and residents all share their personal experiences with visitors while walking them through the site, still currently under construction.

“We want people to leave having learned about the events of 9/11 and become motivated to make a change for the future,” said Lee Ielpi, president of the September 11th Families’ Association and co-founder of the Tribute WTC Visitor Center. “This collaboration is another opportunity for us to educate the community and the visitors to the Memorial so they can educate friends and family.”

The Tribute Center, located at 120 Liberty Street along the south side of the World Trade Center site, was created in 2001 by the September 11th Families’ Association to support victims of terrorism through shared resources for long-term recovery. According to Tribute Center co-founder and CEO Jennifer Adams, the idea for the merger crystallized over the summer.

“People worldwide watched 9/11 unfolding on TV, but to meet someone who was there makes it very real for them,” said Adams. “The tour guides who lived through the events provide context, and it’s something they find healing to do.”

The National September 11 Museum, still under construction and set to open next year, will display artifacts linked to the events of 9/11 central in telling the story of the 2001 and 1993 attacks on the World Trade Center and their aftermath.

“Tribute’s walking tours will connect our visitors directly to the 9/11 community, helping to preserve the history of what happened,” said National September 11 Memorial and Museum President and CEO Joe Daniels.

 The Memorial and Museum are located on eight of the 16 acres of the World Trade Center site; the memorial has been open to the public since September 12 of this year. Over 400 volunteers have been trained to give site tours. If you’re a resident and would like to volunteer or be part of the tribute, fill out an application at tributewtc.org.