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Inside the National September 11 Memorial & Museum

A museum dedicated to the horrific events of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks opens its doors in New York City Thursday.

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located 70 feet underground on the foundations of the twin towers, tells the stories of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the 2001 attacks and the 1993 trade center bombing, as well as of survivors and first responders.

The museum is filled with over 10,000 artifacts. The 23,000 still images and 500 hours of video and film, 1,970 oral histories and objects recovered from the site are on display, including a fire truck from the New York City Fire Department's Ladder Co. 3, which helped evacuate people from the north tower.

A giant atrium built against the original flood wall foundations of the buildings greets visitors as they descend into the space, and contains The Last Column, a final piece of steel recovered from the site and signed by responders and rescue workers.

There is a six-day dedication period, in which the museum will be open 24 hours for the families of victims.  The Sept. 11 museum opens to the public May 21. Tickets are $24, but are free for victims of families and 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.