May 15 - Dignitaries gather at a ceremony to mark the opening of the 9/11 museum at Ground Zero. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Dignitaries, including former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. President Barack Obama, attended the opening of the new 9/11 museum in New York City on Thursday (May 15). "This museum built on the side of rubble and ruins is now filled with the faces, the stories, and the memories of our common grief and our common hope. It is a witness to tragedy. It is an affirmation of human life. It is a reminder to us and all future generations that freedom carries heavy responsibilities. And it is a reflection of our belief that the true hope of humanity resides in our compassion and kindness for one another," said former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The ceremony also featured the personal stories of 9/11 victims and their families. "On behalf of Michelle and myself and the American people, it is an honor for us to join in your memories, to recall, and to reflect. But above all to reaffirm the true spirit of 9/11 -- love, compassion, sacrifice -- and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation," said Obama. A museum memorializing the September 11, 2001, attacks opens this week to victims' family members and next week to the public, displaying artifacts from mangled columns recalling the enormity of that fateful day to shattered eyeglasses recalling its personal pain. Visitors to the National September 11 Memorial Museum in downtown Manhattan descend to exhibitions several stories below street level. The museum is the culmination of eight years' work designing the exhibits, collecting artifacts and settling innumerable disputes over how best to document the day when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people. Some 35,000 people closely involved in creating the museum, including victims' relatives, will get a first look in the coming week. Doors open to the public on May 21.