A somber day in New York City comes this week as we commemorate the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The official commemoration service will take place at 9/11 Memorial Plaza starting at 8:25am through 12:00pm. The ceremony will include a reading of the names of victims and moments of silence for when the planes hit and when each tower fell. It will be streamed live on all major news networks. Throughout the week, all over New York City there are more special events to remember the day and those we lost. From traditional ceremonies and services to film screenings and museum exhibits, here are 12 unique ways you can pay your respects, in addition to visiting
1. See a Model of the Twin Towers at the Skyscraper Museum
The Skyscraper Museum in Battery Park City is home to the permanent exhibition, The Twin Towers and the Twentieth Century, a comprehensive view of the history of the original towers and One World Trade. Highlights of the exhibit include a model of the Twin Towers created for the Engineering Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and design proposals for the new building.
The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 6 PM. General admission is just $5 and free for members of the military, police, fire departments, veterans, and for visitors who are disabled and their caregivers.
2. See Largest Free-Flying American Flag
The Port Authority will be flying the world’s largest free-flying flag again at the George Washington Bridge from 7:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The flag measures 90 feet by 60 feet and is said to weigh 450 pounds. The flag only flies during special occasions – much like how the bridge gets lit up.
3. Art Exhibit in the Municipal Building
“Our Darkest Day” by Raúl Manzano, Inspired by 9/11, Digital Image Courtesy of SUNY Empire State College.
A new exhibit of paintings by artist and professor Raúl Manzano will be on display in the Municipal Building this September as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The exhibit, In the Eye of the Beholder, addresses immigration, family separation, education, minority discrimination, AIDS, 9/11, the environment, the foundation of the American republic, and other relevant topics.
The exhibit runs from September 10th through October 11 at the Maggi Peyton Gallery located on the 19th floor of the Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street. Gallery hours are from 9am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. There is no admission fee to see the exhibit.
4. Find Remnants of the Original Twin Towers
While most the World Trade Center area is completely different from how it was before 9/11, there are still traces of the original structures scattered throughout the new development. From the survivor tree outside to a subway station that appears exactly how it was in the 1970s with the addition of markings by first responders from 2001, we tracked down what is left to see on the site of the original Twin Towers.
5. All Day Screening of 2001
Six locations in New York City and New Jersey will screen the powerful film 2001 by Wolfgang Staehle. Presented in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, the screenings will be held at St. John the Divine Cathedral, Brooklyn Historical Society, Queens Museum, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Monmouth University. The dual-channel video was captured by two unmanned cameras set up by Staehle in Brooklyn with the intention of capturing the mundane going-ons of everyday life in New York City. He wound up capturing one of the most significant historical events in America’s history. The footage unfolds in real-time and will be screening from around 7:00am-8:30am until 7:00pm.
6. Narrators of 9/11
Following the screening of 2001 at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the institution will host Narrators of 9/11: The Power of Word. This panel discussion will feature writers whose works of fiction and non-fiction focus on our shared experience of the attack. Speakers include Jessica Chen, Senior Director of Public and Professional Programs at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Jonathan Dee, author of The Locals, Garrett M. Graff, author of The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, and Giannina Braschi, author of United States of Banana.
This event is free and open to the public but the Historical Society encourages those who plan to attend to register for the event online. Registration does not guarantee a seat.
7. Port Authority’s Annual 9/11 Remembrance
Every year the Port Authority host an interfaith service St. Peter’s Church in honor of the 84 Port Authority employees who lost their lives on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks. The church is located at the corner of Barclay and Church streets in Lower Manhattan and the ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. after the official 9/11 Memorial and Museum 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony.
8. St. Paul’s Chapel, Ringing the Bell of Hope
The Bell of Hope, gifted to New York City from London, will ring at St. Paul’s Chapel at exactly 8:46 AM, when Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. The rector of Trinity Church, Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, will ring the bell in a specific pattern that is the traditional firefighters salute. The bell was created at Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the same firm where the Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell was cast.
9. Visit the Updated FDNY World Trade Center Memorial Wall
Photo courtesy FDNY
This year the FDNY added 22 new names to its FDNY World Trade Center Memorial Wall, located in the FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn. The new names are of those who died from illnesses connected to their rescue efforts on 9/11. A total of more than 200 firefighters have died from 9/11-related diseases to date. The latest casualties were honored at a ceremony on Friday. The new additions to the wall come shortly after the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was replenished.
10. See the Tribute in Light
Tribute in Light, the annual beams of light that rise from Lower Manhattan, has returned this year. Originally produced by the Municipal Arts Society in collaboration with Creative Time, the Tribute in Light is now run by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and for the first time, will be sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Tribute in Light is beamed up into the sky from atop the Battery Parking Garage, using 88 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs arranged in two 48-foot squares. The lights go up four miles and can be seen from a radius of sixty miles. One of the best places to capture Tribute in Light is from across the Hudson River, on Ellis Island, Liberty Island or New Jersey. See behind the scenes photos that show how the Tribute in Light is put into action.
11. See a 9/11 PATH Train that Was Recovered from Ground Zero
On September 11, 2016, two PATH cars from the train that was found beneath the World Trade Center site opened the public for the first time at two different trolley museums: The Shore Line Trolley Museum in Connecticut and the Kingston Trolley Museum in New York. The train was ordered to be evacuated before the Twin Towers fell. Most of the train was found destroyed, but two cars remained intact and were given to the two trolley museums in 2015. The advertisements that were present on 9/11 are still there as well as the signage on the front of the train, that says “WTC.” Shaun Winton, then director of the Shore Line Trolley Museum, told us on a visit that coffee cups and other items were found inside – literally abandoned in the rush to evacuate.
12. Track Down the Many Memorials and Remnants of 9/11 Throughout NYC
If going to public events isn’t your thing, there are still many ways to commemorate 9/11 on your own. Check out our list of memorials and remnants located through out New York City, including the Postcards memorial (above) on Staten Island which recently received $250,000 for new lighting and preservation from the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Other locations include the Survivor Tree, remnants in a secret military bar, a cross of WTC steel in Rockaway, and more.