Tuesday, August 18, 2015

3 Weeks and 2 Days

The following information comes directly from the the National Park Service website: http://www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm The Visitor Center will open on September 10, 2015. Due to expected heavy visitation and limited space in the Visitor Center, entry for all visitors to the Visitor Center will be via a timed ticket with a specific date and time for the visit. Visitors do not need tickets to explore other facilities of the memorial. Groups of 15 or more planning to visit the Memorial Plaza will need to make a separate reservation for the Plaza whether or not you plan to visit the Visitor Center. Individuals and families do not need to make reservations for the Memorial Plaza. The Visitor Center is a self-guided experience. Tickets are for entry to the building not for a guided tour. Ticketing goes live 10 am EST, August 27, 2015. Visitors will not be able to reserve advanced tickets until 10 am EST, August 27, 2015. Starting on August 27, 2015: reserved tickets will be available on Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Tickets are not yet available. Visitors are strongly encouraged to create a Recreation.gov account and to become familiar with the site well prior to August 27. Instructions to create an account. $1.50 non-refundable service charge applies per ticket for advanced tickets; the tickets are free. Passes, including the America the Beautiful Annual and Senior passes, do not cover this service charge. Quantities are limited.Everyone in the group five (5) years of age and older needs a ticket. Up to six (6) tickets may be reserved per transaction.There are no refunds under any circumstances. Please contact the reservation agency directly with questions regarding the ticket refund policy. Starting on September 14, 2015, visitors must arrive 30 minutes prior to the specified time listed on their ticket. If ticket holders are late, staff have discretion to limit or deny Visitor Center entry should such entry deny timely access to the succeeding time block ticket holders or interfere with Visitor Center closure. September 11 Observance - 2015 Visitor Center Complex Dedication Thursday, September 10, 2015 Location: Visitor Center Complex Time: 10:00-11:00 am Free and open to the public Entry to the Visitor Center itself requires a timed ticket (see above) Luminaria Thursday, September 10, 2015 Location: Memorial Plaza Time: 7:30-9:00 pm Free and open to the public September 11 Observance Friday, September 11, 2015 Location: Visitor Center Complex Time: Observance begins at 9:45 and lasts approximately 45 minutes Free and open to the public. Visitor Center Entry to the Visitor Center itself will be by timed tickets. (See above) Highlights of the 2015 Observance: Dedication of the Visitor Center Complex Remarks by NBC NEWS Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski - September 11 Observance Ringing of the Bells of Remembrance -10:03 am, September 11, 2015 Sooooo....if you are able to attend either or both days it is certain to be a very moving experience. However, to make your experience complete, I would encourage you to plan, plan, and then plan some more. There are hotel accommodations in Somerset County, but if you haven't already made reservations I would encourage you to do so immediately as rooms will fill quickly. Allow lots of time for traveling to the Memorial from your destination. Route 30 is a two lane highway and traffic backs up. I was able to attend the ceremonies on both the 9th and 10th anniversaries so I'm speaking from experience, just not recent experience. This is a major time of excitement and change at the Memorial as both the Visitor and Learning Centers open. This latest phase of construction dramatically enhances the visitor experience at the site. As an educator and as someone who works with a company specializing in student travel I am personally very excited . Thinking back, I have been honored and fortunate to have taken sixth graders to all three temporary sites before the permanent opening on the 10th anniversary. Our visit in May of 2012 came three months after our school district had suffered our own tragedy as a high school student killed three of his classmates and wounded three others. So that was a very special visit for two reasons, but truly every time I have visited the site, it has been special. The 10th and 11th of September will match that and go beyond. I encourage you to continue to check that website for additions and changes. As for a presidential visit....even the folks at the Memorial do not know that until very close to the visit.

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