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It’s been over a decade since terrorists took down the Twin Towers in Manhattan. At last, the political infighting and lawsuits have subsided and the National September 11 Memorial Museum has officially opened to the public.

Twisted steel beams salvaged from the wreckage create a focal point within the modernistic glass atrium of the Entrance Pavilion. Two giant square fountains occupy the footprints where the two towers once stood on the 16-acre lot.

Personal artifacts such as a handwritten note pleading for help remind visitors of that historic event, its heroes and its aftermath. Interactive displays include the plaintive voices of victims’ families, talking about the attacks.

The museum’s final cost was $700 million of which approximately $390 million was derived from tax-funded grants. General admission is $24; free for family members of the victims, first responders and recovery workers. Ticket sales and concession proceeds are expected to cover two-thirds of the projected annual operating budget of $63 million. Private donations will need to cover the balance.

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