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More than 350,000 make reservations to visit 9/11 memorial

September 9, 2011 |  6:45 am

September 11 memorial_600 
More than 350,000 people from around the world have made reservations to visit the 9/11 memorial in downtown Manhattan.

"The interest has been amazing," Michael Frazier, director of communications for the memorial, told The Times. "This is a site where people want to come, learn the history, and want to honor the people who lost their lives and to reflect on that day."

PHOTOS: The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks

The memorial will be dedicated on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The following day, the memorial opens to the public. But you'll need a reservation.

In the future, the memorial will be accessible to all who simply wander across what is planned as a tree-dotted plaza. Now, though, much of the area is cordoned off for construction. Access to the memorial is limited to 1,500 people at a time for safety reasons, Frazier said. Reservations are free, and can be made online.

The National September 11 Memorial honors the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorism attacks at the World Trade Center; near Shanksville, Pa.; and at the Pentagon. It also honors the six people killed in the first World Trade Center bombing, in February 1993.

The somber memorial features twin reflecting pools that sit within the footprints of the original twin towers. The pools are nearly an acre in size and feature the largest artificial waterfalls in North America. The names of victims are inscribed into bronze panels around the edge of the memorial pools. More than 400 swamp white oak trees will dot the surrounding plaza, creating a canopy that will dramatically change with the seasons.

"Its design conveys a spirit of hope and renewal, and creates a contemplative space separate from the usual sights and sounds of a bustling metropolis," according to the memorial website.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is set to open in September 2012.

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-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: One of the waterfalls at the memorial. Credit: Seth Wenig / Associated Press

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