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Ten Years Later, New Life At Ground Zero

A decade after the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings in New York, a new urban center is rising from the rubble. The redeveloped neighborhood now features a towering new skyscraper and a large central memorial to the victims, along with numerous smaller tributes. Photos by RFE/RL's Nikola Krastev and AFP

Ten years ago, hijacked airplanes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,700 people and destroying an iconic part of lower Manhattan.
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Ten years ago, hijacked airplanes struck the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, killing more than 2,700 people and destroying an iconic part of lower Manhattan.

A decade later, a new urban center has begun to rise from the rubble.
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A decade later, a new urban center has begun to rise from the rubble.

World Trade Center 7, completed in 2004, was the first new building to open. A work by sculptor Jeff Koons stands in the building's plaza.
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World Trade Center 7, completed in 2004, was the first new building to open. A work by sculptor Jeff Koons stands in the building's plaza.

The unfinished Freedom Tower, also called 1 World Trade Center, is the flagship of the new business complex.
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The unfinished Freedom Tower, also called 1 World Trade Center, is the flagship of the new business complex.

The Freedom Tower is now more than 80 stories high. When completed in 2013, it will reach a symbolic height of 1,776 feet, making it the tallest building in the United States.
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The Freedom Tower is now more than 80 stories high. When completed in 2013, it will reach a symbolic height of 1,776 feet, making it the tallest building in the United States.

The "footprints" of the destroyed Twin Towers have been preserved as a memorial to the victims. Here, the construction site as it appeared in May 2011...
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The "footprints" of the destroyed Twin Towers have been preserved as a memorial to the victims. Here, the construction site as it appeared in May 2011...

...and in September 2011. The bases of the two towers are now square pools surrounding by newly planted trees, a museum devoted to the events of 9/11, and the names of the victims inscribed in bronze.
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...and in September 2011. The bases of the two towers are now square pools surrounding by newly planted trees, a museum devoted to the events of 9/11, and the names of the victims inscribed in bronze.

On the 10th anniversary of the attacks, relatives of the victims will gather for a ceremony at the new memorial, along with President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, and other officials. The memorial will open to the public the next day.
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On the 10th anniversary of the attacks, relatives of the victims will gather for a ceremony at the new memorial, along with President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, and other officials. The memorial will open to the public the next day.

The reflecting pools are just two of many memorials around Ground Zero. On one of the new buildings of the World Trade Center complex, plaques commemorate the firefighters who died during the rescue efforts.
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The reflecting pools are just two of many memorials around Ground Zero. On one of the new buildings of the World Trade Center complex, plaques commemorate the firefighters who died during the rescue efforts.

Near Ground Zero, a less official memorial in the form of a street mural shows the Twin Towers.
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Near Ground Zero, a less official memorial in the form of a street mural shows the Twin Towers.

In the days after the attacks, St. Paul’s Chapel near the Twin Towers was covered with personal tributes to the victims and pleas to help find the missing.
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In the days after the attacks, St. Paul’s Chapel near the Twin Towers was covered with personal tributes to the victims and pleas to help find the missing.

Today, the church has returned to normal.
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Today, the church has returned to normal.

A firefighter gives directions to a tourist visiting the redeveloped World Trade Center. Always a busy neighborhood, the area is now expected to attract droves of tourists.
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A firefighter gives directions to a tourist visiting the redeveloped World Trade Center. Always a busy neighborhood, the area is now expected to attract droves of tourists.

A souvenir stand near Ground Zero sells commemorative T-shirts.
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A souvenir stand near Ground Zero sells commemorative T-shirts.

This memorial cross is made of distressed metal collected from the site.
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This memorial cross is made of distressed metal collected from the site.

The redevelopment of the site has also changed the character of the neighborhood. Once mainly a business district, the area around the World Trade Center now houses twice as many residents as in 2001.
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The redevelopment of the site has also changed the character of the neighborhood. Once mainly a business district, the area around the World Trade Center now houses twice as many residents as in 2001.

"The Sphere," by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, stood in the plaza near the Twin Towers. It has been relocated to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan and still shows damage from the fire and debris.
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"The Sphere," by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, stood in the plaza near the Twin Towers. It has been relocated to Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan and still shows damage from the fire and debris.

The Freedom Tower at night, shrouded in mist
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The Freedom Tower at night, shrouded in mist

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