The site of the former World Trade Center towers, now called Ground Zero, has become one of the United States' most revered memorials. Unlike many other memorials, Ground Zero is not naturally aesthetic, and it has no statues, no music, no fountains, no architectural monuments and no grand memorial.
Perhaps Ground Zero is like Gettysburg before it became a national park, or the site where the USS Arizona sunk in Pearl Harbor before a memorial was built there. Yet each week thousands of people come from all over the world to visit this 16-acre site. Some are confused or disappointed when they arrive because Ground Zero is now a construction site where the World Trade Center Transportation Hub is being built (due to be completed in 2009).
On the tour of Ground Zero, guides explain what is currently at the site, where the buildings used to stand, and what the site might look like in the future. For further context, visitors may want to see some of the other remnants of the attacks on September 11, 2001. One is the Ground Zero Memorial in Union Square. Another is Fritz Koenig's 45,000-pound steel-and-bronze sculpture "Sphere," which had anchored the fountain at the foot of the towers and is now on exhibit in Battery Park.