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The 9/11 Museum

Settembre 2014
Dopo 13 anni New York si è ripresa, ma non dimentica; nel 2011 ha aperto il commovente 9/11 Memorial, visitato da milioni di persone; ora è pronto anche l’annesso museo, in cui la cosa più impressionante sono le testimonianze sonore. Ce ne parla Andrew, un vigile del fuoco che quel giorno era in servizio e lavorò per spegnere le fiamme.

di Marina Carminati

File audio:

Andrew Lavenziano
Andrew Lavenziano

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum officially opened on September 12th 2011, 10 years after the dramatic attacks of 2001. Reconstruction work began in 2006, and the Museum part took a little longer: it finally opened to the public earlier this year, on March 21st. Both the Memorial and the Museum are located near the new One World Trade Center, at "1 Liberty Plaza."  


One World Trade Center is also known as the Freedom Tower. At 541 metres, it is the tallest building in the United States and is one of the tallest in the world. It isn't open to the public. This follows a series of "security incidents." One involved Justin Casquejo, a 16-year-old boy from New Jersey who managed to enter the area and take the elevator to the top of the building in March. According to press reports, the guard didn't stop him because... he was asleep! Another incident involved three men who, a few months earlier, had broken into the building at night and parachuted from the top. They filmed their exploits and this proved to be a mistake. The police later found a copy of the film and used it to identify them. As a lawyer representing one of the three men said: "My client was very surprised that there was no security whatsoever, and he was amazed at how easy it was to walk up there, into a place that the Mayor recently described as the number one terrorist target in the world!"


Fortunately, the Museum is in another part of Liberty Plaza. Its entrance is between two fountains that are located where the Twin Towers once stood. When visitors enter they go down to four floors below ground. Here they can also see the old World Trade Center's foundations. The first thing that visitors will find is a large photo of the Twin Towers, and a timeline of the events of that fateful morning. As they continue, they will hear recordings of the voices of people in the Towers asking for help, and of survivors telling their stories. They will also see some of the surviving relics, like one of the beams from the Towers, a fire truck and personal effects found in the rubble, such as shoes, wallets and hats.


Other exhibits in the Museum include a list (in alphabetical order, with photographs) of the attack's nearly 3,000 victims and a video history of the World Trade Center, TV reports and front page headlines from around the world.


All in all, the Museum has 10,000 objects, 23,000 photographs, 1,900 personal testimonies and over 500 hours of video footage. Visitors can also see the last column that was removed from Ground Zero. It's covered with photographs of the victims, as well as messages written by rescue workers. As fire fighter Andrew Lavenziano (see interview) says, visitors "will see a place they'll never forget." 




Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Earlier this year the National September 11 Museum finally opened in New York. To get an idea of what the place is like, we talked to Andrew Lavenziano, a firefighter who worked at the remains of the Twin Towers the day after the 9/11 attacks. We asked him to share his memories:

Andrew Lavenziano (Standard American accent)

I’ve gone into a lot of different fires, from car fires to building fires to electrical fires to fuel fires, and this was all of them, in a massive area. So that was definitely distinct, but you didn’t think about it. They didn’t give us masks until later Wednesday evening, early evening, from what I remember, that’s when I first saw some going around. Really hot, it was a hot sunny day, lot of people just exhausted, they were doing work for about a(n) hour, and you just get, you know, heat exhaustion, so you've got to be careful for that. But I remember just working with the two guys that I went in there with, and then meeting other guys, and I don’t want to call it “just another job,” but in that situation it’s kind of what we do, even though it was so massive. Definitely surreal, definitely like it wasn’t even happening, and it went by real fast, real fast.


And is it true that many firefighters were so traumatized that they quit their jobs after 9/11?

Andrew Lavenziano

Yeah, I believe definitely some did. There’s a lot of psychological things that probably went on. There were guys that were there a lot longer than me, but, yeah, you know, 9/11 for me was my last call.

And what will a visit to the Museum be like?

Andrew Lavenziano

Tourists are going to see a place where maybe they can try and understand what happened that day. They’re going to see a lot of people there reflecting on the area. They’re going to see two great big holes of where the Twin Towers stood, that are now memorials for every one of those people that perished that day. It’s tranquil, it’s peaceful, in a way, it’s the biggest memorial they’re ever going to go to, I can tell you that, at least it’s the biggest one I’ve ever been to. They’ll see a place that they’ll never forget. 


The Memorial is open every day from 8.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. Entry is free.

Tickets for the 9/11 Museum cost $24 for adults  and  $15 for children (aged 7 to 17). Entrance is free on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can't enter after 7 p.m.

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It’s the biggest memorial they’re ever going to go to.
È il più grande memoriale che vedranno nella loro vita. Qui Andrew Lavenziano usa il “going to + future”. Letteralmente dice “È il più grande memoriale dove andranno mai”. Mentre le regole in inglese per distinguere tra il simple past e il present perfect sono precise, il futuro è più flessibile. Andrew ad esempio usa sia il “going to+future” sia la forma più semplice: “They’ll see a place they’ll never forget” (vedranno un posto che non dimenticheranno mai).