Remembering the city's darkest day
Word to the wise: Even though admission is free, advance visitor passes must be reserved for an allocated date and time slot via the Memorial's online reservation system.
The hushed green space of the 9/11 Memorial stands in stark contrast to the skyscrapers that surround it. This physical commemoration of the roughly 3,000 people who died on September 11 2001, is subtle, dignified and undeniably affecting. At the memorial's center are two large reflecting pools that occupy the footprints of the Twin Towers. Rows of oak trees surrounding the pools mark out the exact boundaries of the former buildings, creating a living echo of the iconic structures.
Visiting Ground Zero can be a harrowing experience, but there's optimism to be found nearby. Construction of the New World Trade Center at the north of the site is almost complete, and the surrounding streets of the Financial District are bustling, highlighting the resilience of this corner of Manhattan.
The memorial is usually open to all, but access is restricted around the 9/11 anniversary, when commemorative services are held for locals and victims' families.