Remembering September 11th, 2001 recalls a flood of emotions difficult to stem. Any attempt to address this group of events in our past must necessarily begin with the acknowledgement that no matter how much strength or solidarity the nation draws from a tragedy, it is a painful and permanent scar on our minds and hearts.

Tomorrow, on the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, the 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated in a ceremony for victims’ families. It will be open to the public on the 12th, though visitors must reserve a pass in advance.

The eight acre memorial quadrant is located at the former World Trade Center complex and features two waterfalls and reflecting pools set inside the footprints where the twin towers once stood. The Memorial Plaza contains more than 400 swamp white oak trees and claims to be one of the most eco-friendly public sites ever constructed.

The design, by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, is meant to convey a spirit of hope, renewal and peace, unique amid the noise and chaos of a busy city. There is a small clearing in the grove, called the Memorial Glade, that is designated for gatherings and special ceremonies.

Bronze panels inscribed with the name of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks surround the pools in a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 victims. The names are stencil-cut into the parapets and in the evenings, when the pools are illuminated from below, light will shine through the letters of each name.

Planning and building this Memorial has been unique in many ways. One of the most touching and significant choices made in the process was the organization of names. The jurors on the Memorial Board wanted to give more meaning to the relationships and connections of the victims. This was accomplished by offering the option of meaningful adjacency to the next of kin, allowing them to share information about a loved one and locate a name next to the names of friends, family or comrades. More than 1,200 adjacency requests were made and every request was honored.

The following gallery may be unnecessary. Many of these images have already been burned into our memory and will never be forgotten. Even so, the story is one that must be repeated. With every telling, our history expands to include the best examples of human nature in the struggle to rebuild and move forward, however often we chose to look back.