Sept. 11 museum opens to relatives and survivors

NEW YORK (AP) — The new Sept. 11 museum at ground zero in New York City opens to the public next Wednesday.

But today, many of those affected most directly by 9/11 were present as the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum was dedicated by President Barack Obama.

The president called the subterranean space a symbol that says of America: "Nothing can ever break us."

Many in the audience wiped away tears during the dedication, which revisited both the horror and the heroism of Sept. 11, 2001. That was the day 19 al-Qaida hijackers crashed four airliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people died.

The museum's artifacts range from the monumental, like two of the huge fork-shaped columns from the World Trade Center's facade, to the intimate: a wedding ring, a victim's voice mail message.

Some relatives of 9/11 victims found the exhibits both upsetting and inspiring.

Family members also paid their first visits to a repository at the museum that contains unidentified remains from the disaster.

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264-a-09-(Patricia Smith, whose mother was a police officer who died on 9/11, in AP interview)-"was once around"-Patricia Smith says she had mixed feelings as she went through the museum. (15 May 2014)

<<CUT *264 (05/15/14)££ 00:09 "was once around"

267-a-10-(Maureen Fanning, whose husband, a member of the Fire Department died on 9/11, in AP interview)-"all the victims"-Maureen Fanning says she really enjoyed the museum's opening ceremony. (15 May 2014)

<<CUT *267 (05/15/14)££ 00:10 "all the victims"

241-w-44-(Warren Levinson, AP correspondent, with Mickey Kross, firefighter who was buried in the World Trade Center rubble)--The national memorial at New York's ground zero has been dedicated, ahead of its opening to the public on May 21st. AP correspondent Warren Levinson was there. ((note length; opens with sound; produced version of cut 225)) (15 May 2014)

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APPHOTO NYFF105: Patrons visit the pools at The 9/11 Memorial near the World Trade Center which opened to the public Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York. President Barack Obama praised the new Sept. 11 museum on Thursday as "a sacred place of healing and of hope" that captures both the story and the spirit of heroism that followed the attacks. (AP Photo) (15 May 2014)

<<APPHOTO NYFF105 (05/15/14)££

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