Freedom Tower and 9/11 Anniversary: Rebuilding Visible at Ground Zero

PHOTO: A test of the Tribute in Light rises above lower Manhattan, Sept. 6, 2011 in New York.
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A decade after the Twin Towers were destroyed in the greatest attack against Americans on U.S. soil, there is visible progress in the efforts both to remember and rebuild. The completed memorial -- two expansive reflecting pools in the footprints of the fallen buildings -- will open to family members for the first time on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

The memorial pools are nearly an acre each. Plaques line each pool, carved with the 2,983 names of those who died in the terror attacks Sept. 11, 2001. The memorial incorporated nearly 1,200 requests from victims' families to place the names near those of loved ones, co-workers and friends. It covers half of the 16-acre site, and contains 150 trees.

See the Memorial Here

Michael Arad, the architect of the World Trade Center memorial, said he wanted to make what was absent, visible.

"I think when you take in the scale of the space, and you see these close to 1,500 names that surround each pool, it's a moment of comprehension," he said. "It's not an easy moment, it shouldn't be, it's a sad moment. But it's a sad moment of understanding what happened that day. As you stand here I wanted people to be able to have that moment of quiet and thoughtful contemplation."

Work is continuing around the clock on projects at the site, including a transportation hub, multiple office towers and a museum dedicated to the 9/11 attacks. The museum is scheduled to open next year.

One World Trade Center is growing by a story a week, and will soon boast the title of the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. Now 81 stories high, the new building will ultimately be 1,776 feet (105 stories), and will cost more than $3 billion.

Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, said they had a responsibility to make the building as safe as possible.

"We know that we have a moral responsibility to build this building stronger than has ever been built and taller than the Twin Towers before," he said.

David Childs, the architect of One World Trade Center, actually planned for the building to exceed New York's building code standards for safety.

"This building is as strong and secure as you could ever imagine," Childs told ABC News' Dan Harris. "There is a robustness to the design, in which columns are designed to take over for two or three other columns should they fall for some reason."

Childs designed the glass-encased building around a solid, concrete core. Elevators, sprinkler systems and wider staircases, including one dedicated specifically to first responders, are protected within the inner walls.

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