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9/11 Memorial: At site of terror, a site of grace (video)

The dedication of the 9/11 Memorial Sunday will evoke many emotions. Instrumental in bringing about the memorial are three Americans who were strangers on 9/11 but ultimately became linked by the terrible events of the day.

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Work on the signature reflecting pools continued at the 9/11 Memorial in lower Manhattan in late July. Water will disappear into the void created by the square opening (c.). A dedication is scheduled for Sept. 11.

Ann Hermes/Staff

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This Sept. 11, 10 years after the terrorist attacks, the dedication of the 9/11 Memorial in New York will evoke many emotions: reverence for loved ones lost, gratitude for brave first responders, love of country, perhaps some uplift and peace.

In a solemn ceremony, the families of the victims – as well as Presidents Obama and George W. Bush – will look out on two massive waterfalls that pour into pools formed in the footprints of the former towers of the World Trade Center. The water disappears into dramatic black voids. All around the pools are the names of the victims, incised into bronze sheeting.

Instrumental in bringing about the memorial are three Americans who were strangers on 9/11 but ultimately became linked by the terrible events of the day.

Joe Daniels emerged from a subway station to see the North Tower of the World Trade Center ablaze. "Like everyone around me, I was transfixed looking up at the hole in the building," he says.

From his East Village bedroom window, Michael Arad could see smoke coming out of the towers. He went to the roof of his building and watched United Flight 175 swoop down the Hudson River and crash into the South Tower. "It was unbelievable, a very difficult thing to see," he recalls.

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