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New York City’s 9/11 Tribute Museum has closed its doors for good, citing Covid-related financial problems due to fewer private visitors.
“Financial hardship, including lost revenue due to the pandemic, prevents us from generating sufficient funds to continue operating the physical museum,” museum CEO Jennifer Adams-Webb said in a press release.
The Lower Manhattan Museum—not to be confused with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site—opened in September 2006. The small museum offers intimate guided tours by a volunteer staff of several 9/11 survivors.
According to its website, the 9/11 Tribute Museum has hosted a total of more than 5 million visitors through 2021. 500,000 of these visitors were members of the 9/11 community.
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Museum co-founder Lee Yelpi dedicated his life to 9/11 commemoration after his son Jonathan died as an FDNY firefighter responding to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“It’s direct knowledge, direct experience for people from all over the world to understand what happened here,” Ielpi, who also served as an FDNY firefighter, told FOX 5 in New York. “And again, who better to say than the experienced, the ones who lived it?”
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According to their website, the museum commemorates 9/11 “through the stories of those who lived and experienced the tragic events.”
The memorial offers experiences from “guided tours by family members, to visual narratives told throughout the exhibit by survivors and first responders.”
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In 2019, the museum collaborated with HBO to produce “What Happened on September 11,” a kid-friendly documentary about the terrorist attacks.