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National 9/11 Memorial Gets Finishing Touches

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The city has been busy making preparations for Sunday’s 10th anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center site, when the National September 11th Memorial will be officially dedicated. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

The media is encamped by the National September 11th Memorial, its waterfalls are flowing and now the site is just receiving last-minute touches.

On Sunday, the work crews will vanish, and the National September 11th Memorial will open exactly a decade after the attacks. Only victims’ family members are invited to the ceremony, leaving some September 11th recovery workers feeling excluded.

“You can only have a certain number of people on the plaza at a given time because of building codes, and because there’s construction on three sides. So you can’t get out easily,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "You just can’t have everybody and you've got to make a decision.”

Tomorrow’s program will mirror those of past anniversaries. It will begin at 8:35 a.m., followed by a moment of silence at 8:46, when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower.

Later comes five more moments of silence, to mark United Flight 175 striking the South Tower, the collapse of each tower, the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.

Musical performers include Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor and Paul Simon.

Family members will again recite each victim’s name, including, for the first time, victims of the Pentagon attack and those on flight 93.

But unlike recent years when the ceremony was held here in Zuccotti Park across the street from the World Trade Center, this year’s event will take place onsite.

Security is, of course, tight, from checkpoints on cars headed downtown to the police presence around the site, where even trash receptacles have been removed.

It’s not just the recent terror threat; President Barack Obama will also be here, as well as President George W. Bush, who along with other politicians present and former, will recite only short passages of poetry or literature.

“You don’t want political speeches. You don’t want one elected official grandstanding versus another. It is very solemn,” said the mayor.

The memorial then opens to the public on Monday using a timed reservation system. Already, some 400,000 reservations have been made.

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