May 15 - U.S. President Barack Obama joined first responders and victims' families for the dedication of the new September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Jennifer Davis reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama - one of many dignitaries on hand Thursday for the opening of the new National September 11 Memorial Museum in downtown Manhattan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "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." The ceremony featured the personal stories of 9/11 victims and their families as does the museum . Visitors descend to exhibitions several stories below street level where artifacts ranging from mangled columns to shattered eyeglasses are on display. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER N.Y.C MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG SAYING: "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." The museum is the culmination of eight years' of work that included collecting the artifacts, designing the exhibits and the settling of 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 May 21.