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President Obama, Families Speak At 9/11 Museum Dedication

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum was dedicated at ground zero Thursday. President Obama, families and more spoke at the event.
Posted at 3:12 PM, May 15, 2014

After more than a decade, the smallest artifacts bring 9/11 back.

Like United Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer's watch. (Via National September 11 Memorial & Museum)

"Though it no longer tells time, Todd's watch now speaks volumes about courage."

That and more can now be seen at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which had its dedication ceremony Thursday.

A number of people got up to speak, including President Obama, who called the memorial a "sacred place of healing and of hope." (Via The White House)

"Those we lost live on in us ... in a nation that will honor them now and forever."

The space was first opened to architects, planners and others — including 9/11 family members Wednesday. (Via National September 11 Memorial & Museum)

"You'd be so proud of your daughter. She's amazing, just like you."

The museum stands on the site of the tragedy. CNN calls it one of America's "most ambitious" memorial museums.

The 110,000-square-foot space is almost entirely underground. It's filled with the 2,983 faces of the day's victims. There are about 2,000 oral stories, nearly 600 hours of video and 12,500 objects. (Via The New York Times)

It's those objects that the Los Angeles Times says "are the most haunting, for they underscore how normally the day began, and how quickly everyday people were caught up in tragedy."

But USA Today reminds us the museum was supposed to open on the attack's 11th anniversary.

“But work was slowed and for a time haulted by soaring costs, weak fundraising and jurisdictional disputes.”

The New York Times says there was also this question: "Was it going to be primarily a historical document, a monument to the dead or a theme-park-style tourist attraction?"

The museum is undeniably a mix of all of those things — a memorial with a $24 entrance fee. But still, The Times calls it "emotionally overwhelming."

A sentiment that's echoed by President Obama. "I think all who come here will find it to be a profound and moving experience." (Via The White House)

The museum will remain free to victims' families for the next six days, as well as first responders and more. It opens to the public May 21, but tickets are reportedly already sold out for that day.