NEW YORK (PIX11)—For the first time in 10 years, the area known to the world as Ground Zero was opened to the public, as a majestic memorial and tribute to those lost on September 11, 2001. The area now consists of two reflecting pools - the largest man-made reflecting pools on earth - ringed with bronzed frames donning the 2,977 names of those killed.
With tight security and a strong NYPD presence, the 9/11 memorial opened its doors at 10 a.m. Monday and welcomed the first throng of visitors to the 8-acre plaza that's dressed with hundreds of white oak trees that surround the two footprints of where the twin towers once stood.
On-site "Find a Name" electronic directories helped guests locate the names of loved ones.
According to organizers the cost of the memorial and soon-to-be-open 9/11 memorial boasts a price tag of $700 million with an annual operating budget of $50 to $60 million.