- (Ground Zero Museum/Gary Marlon Suson)
The Ground Zero Museum Workshop is gearing up for a flood of people this year in honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by increasing the number of its tours to six each day.
Museum Founder and official Ground Zero Photographer for the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association Gary Marlon Suson said the museum evokes memories of lost loved ones through viewing photos, artifacts and audio presentations. However, he points out that the most important purpose of the museum prevails; the memories of lost loved ones.
He said this year with the new memorial in place marking the 10th anniversary of the fallen towers; he wants to extend the museum’s opening hours to accommodate the larger crowds expected.
It has also been announced that the museum will be handing out complementary hand-made chocolates for all visitors to add a personal touch to the museum tour.
Suson explained to The Christian Post, “This year on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 Kaap’s Old World Chocolates in Wisconsin is donating hand-made chocolates to all visitors who come to tour the museum.”
Carol Johanski, Kaap’s owner said he is donating a 5lb box of assorted chocolates to the museum, which is fulfilling a wonderful cause.
“This is the first time we are donating to this great cause and our candies are hand-made daily using one copper kettle at a time,” said Johanski.
Suson feels this year on 9/11 the museum will be busier than ever, and he is planning six tours, instead of his usual daily three.
“We will start tours at 8 a.m., which will be conducted every two hours and go throughout the day ending at 8 p.m. possibly until 10 p.m.,” said Suson. “The museum is now focusing on the recovery period after the World Trade Center attacks occurred, and we do not show images of the actual day of 9/11 because it is too painful.”
The tour takes two hours and guests are given a tour of the artifacts, along with an oral presentation about the history of the museum.
“Visitors get to hold and feel a tangible piece of the World Trade Center and then that makes people connect on a deeper level,” said Suson who also explained to The Christian Post that he is a New York FDNY Honorary Battalion Chief, and so understands the importance of memories of lost loved ones.
“They get to listen to over 100 hundred stories at the museum in the self-guided audio unit.”
People can listen to real sound bites in English, Spanish, French and Italian at the museum and there is a 12-minute feature film set to music about Ground Zero, according to Suson. But, one of the most interesting photos that Suson photographed after the 9/11 attacks is that of a lone Bible page from Genesis 11 speaking of the Tower of Babel that he found in the rubble after the attacks.
“This is really a coincidence when I saw the Bible page among the rubble because of the Twin Towers collapse, which some might say relates to the Tower of Babel,” he said. “This is now a highlighted photo in the museum.”
The museum, which has been opened since 2005 is located at 420 West 14th Street, near 9th Avenue in lower Manhattan and there are generally three daily tours that cost $25 except on Sundays and Mondays, which have two at 12 noon and 2 p.m.
New York Family members of lost loved ones, firefighters and police are eligible for a fee waiver. Tours can be booked by calling 212-209-3370 or online at: www.groundzeromuseum.com