Remembering 9/11 ten years later: Where you can pay respect

Everyone remembers what he or she was doing on September 11, 2001. From the moment American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center (8:46 a.m. EDT) to the horrific realization that the United States was under attack, every person has a story to share, whether of what they were doing on that fateful day to memories of personal survival or tragic loss.

Ten years have passed since the terrorism attacks of September 11 changed the world forever. From the war in Afghanistan to airline regulations, we live with the legacy of 9/11 on a daily basis. But while 9/11 is at the forefront of our minds, many of us have lost sight of the thousands of lives that were lost on that fall day. A decade later, there are three memorials – at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – where we can remember the dead, honor the survivors, and reflect on the events of September 11, 2001.National September 11 Memorial and Museum
New York City

Located at Ground Zero, where the two towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed and 2,753 lives lost, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, known simply as the 9/11 Memorial, will be inaugurated in an official ceremony on September 11, 2011. The 9/11 Memorial will not open to the public until September 12, 2011, and its museum, to be located in a plaza underneath the memorial, is not scheduled to open until September 2012.

Like the Twin Towers, the 9/11 Memorial is huge in scale. Set on eight acres and filled-in with 415 trees, the memorial is comprised of two fountain cascades that are the exact size of the footprints of the two buildings. Lining the edges of the fountains is a bronze strip engraved with the names of the victims from the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Flight 93, as well as the names of the seven people who died in the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993.

Admission to the 9/11 Memorial is free, but visitors must reserve a time to visit. You can request visitor passes here, but note that as of this writing, the first available time available is on September 14. There are also 9/11 family member visitor passes for those who are related to victims listed on the memorial.

Pentagon Memorial
Arlington, Virginia

Open since September 11, 2008, the Pentagon Memorial is a quiet reminder of the 184 men, women, and children who died when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the southwest edge of the Pentagon. The memorial contains a series of benches, each etched with a name, laid out on the western side of the Pentagon Reservation. Benches pointing towards the Pentagon refer to those who were inside the Pentagon when the plane struck; benches pointing in the opposite direction represent the airline passengers and crew who perished. The Pentagon Memorial is free and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Guided tours are not available.

Flight 93 National Memorial
Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Maintained by the National Park Service, this memorial to the victims of Flight 93 is located in the field where the hijacked plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001. The Flight 93 National Memorial has had several temporary memorials and is still under construction. But the official dedication ceremony of the first phase of construction for the permanent memorial will take place on September 11, 2011. Similar to the other two memorials, the Flight 93 memorial will contain a Memorial Wall of Names inscribed with the names of the 44 people who died. Admission to the Flight 93 National Memorial is free and the memorial will officially open to the public at 2 p.m. on September 12, 2011.

Image from Wikipedia