20th Anniversary Commemoration – 20th Anniversary of 9/11

The heart of the mission of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum remains the annual commemoration ceremony. Family members of 9/11 victims will gather on the Memorial plaza to read aloud the names of those killed in the 9/11 attacks and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum will soon lead the nation, and the world, as we mark the passage of two decades since the day that changed our lives forever.

The focus of our commemoration will be the reading of the names by family members in-person. Throughout the ceremony, we will observe six moments of silence, acknowledging when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.

Our program will commence at 8:30 a.m., and the first moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m. We will encourage houses of worship to toll their bells at that time. The ceremony will be exclusively for 9/11 family members. Access to the Memorial will begin at 7:00 a.m. on the anniversary, and the commemoration is expected to conclude at approximately 1:00 p.m. Family members can use the letter that was mailed to their homes or the email they received from the Museum for entrance to the ceremony. P and T case numbers or Memorial Park identification cards will also be accepted. Only one letter per family group is required.

At sundown, the annual “Tribute in Light” will once again illuminate the sky in commemoration of the anniversary of the attacks.

If you are a family member and would like to arrange free advance timed tickets to the Museum on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, please visit the family member ticket portal. Please call (212) 266-5201 with questions.

Commemoration Information for Family Members

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for all visitors and staff. If you are feeling ill, please stay home for the safety of yourself and others. As guidelines frequently change, please visit our website for the most up-to-date information.

Commemoration Ceremony – Memorial Plaza
Enhanced security measures will be in effect. As such, please note the following:

  • All guests must pass through magnetometers. Please give yourself extra time upon arrival to the Memorial.
  • Water will be provided at the ceremony. However, glass, metal, hydro flask/yeti-type water bottles will not be allowed on the premises.
  • Only small tote umbrellas will be allowed. Large style umbrellas will not be permitted.
  • We ask that you refrain from bringing signs to the ceremony. If you choose to bring personal posters, please note that yard sign sticks, signs with metal poles, or large posters will not be permitted on the Memorial grounds.
  • As always, no weapons of any kind are allowed.

Social distancing is mandatory for anyone outside of your immediate family group. Masks are not required on the Memorial plaza for those who are fully vaccinated, but in line with CDC guidance, masks are strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status, when social distancing is not possible.

Visiting the Museum

  • Please reserve a timed ticket for entry into the Museum.
  • All guests visiting the Museum must wear CDC-approved masks.
  • In accordance with the City of New York’s executive order No. 225, all guests visiting the Museum ages 12 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Please note for future visits that beginning on September 13, 2021, visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination and ID. For more information on the City’s COVID-related requirements, please visit the Key to NYC website here.

Visiting the City of New York Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s Reflection Room

  • On September 11th, a reservation is not required to visit the OCME’s Reflection Room. You must, however, reserve a timed ticket for entry to the Museum. As in years past, families will be able to queue to enter the repository throughout the day. Due to the volume of families in attendance on the anniversary, each family will receive 5-10 minutes within the Reflection Room.
  • Per the City of New York and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, families visiting the Reflection Room must continue to wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times, regardless of their vaccination status.

Health and Safety

In accordance with the Key to NYC mandate, the Museum requires all visitors age 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter. Masks are required in the Museum for all visitors over the age of two. Masks are not required outdoors on the Memorial plaza for those who are fully vaccinated.

Your health and safety are our top priorities. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is working to implement New York City’s requirement that staff and visitors 12 years of age and older be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to enter museums and other indoor establishments.

All visitors 12 years of age and over should be prepared to show proof of vaccination to enter the Museum.

Eligible proof of vaccination includes:

  • NYC COVID Safe App 
  • NYS Excelsior App
  • Photo or hard copy of a CDC vaccination card
  • Photo or hard copy of an official vaccination record of a vaccine administered outside the United States for AstraZeneca, SK Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD, Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, or Sinovac.

Visitors 18+ must also be prepared to show an official form of identification with name and photo or date of birth, such as driver’s license, non-driver government ID card, IDNYC, passport, or school ID card.

All visitors should also prepare for ongoing operational changes to ensure a safe experience for all. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum reserves the right to ask visitors who do not follow these guidelines to leave the premises.

To ensure that we are providing a safe environment for all, the Museum has the following additional protocols in place:

Masks or face coverings are required

All visitors and staff are required to wear masks or face coverings in the Museum. Masks with vents or valves should not be worn because they are not effective at stopping COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disposable masks are available on site.

Social distancing is mandatory

Please maintain a distance of six feet from all visitors and staff at all times. Families and groups visiting together must maintain a distance of six feet from other visitors. Please be patient.

Please do not enter if you’re feeling ill

If you are feeling ill, please stay home.

Please use hand sanitizer during your visit

Hand sanitizer dispensers are located throughout the plaza.

Coat check is closed

Oversized bags will not be allowed in the Museum. Please be mindful when planning your trip.


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