Eleven years later, the 9/11 Museum is still closed

This article can be found in this month's edition TheBlaze Magazine. Every issue of TheBlaze Magazine is full of reporting, investigation and commentary you won’t find for free online because we reserve it for subscribers to the print edition and/or digital version of the magazine. Because of the anniversary of 9/11, TheBlaze has decided to make this issue available for free online.

by TheBlaze's Robyn Wallensky

It’s all buried beneath the ground. And it really bothers me. Eleven years since the morning radical Islamic terrorists took down the Twin Towers, killing thousands of innocent Americans and shattering our sense of security, 9/11 artifacts are still not available for anyone to see.

“It’s all about the Benjamins, it’s all about the Benjamins,” a Port Authority Police officer tells me on a recent trip to Ground Zero. He shakes his head in absolute disgust and asks me rhetorically “Can you believe it’s not open because they claim they don’t have enough money? My friends were killed here.”

More than a decade later, the National September 11 Memorial Museum is still a work in progress.

A year ago, ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the attacks, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the 9/11 Memorial Visitor Center to reflect on the horrific events of that day and to discuss my charity book “Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11.”

AN EXCLUSIVE TOUR OF THE TOMB OF THOUSANDS

It’s a few hours before the event, I am offered a tour of what someday will be the 9/11 Museum. Walking around the massive 16-acre construction site, I wear the required hard hat, goggles, long-sleeved shirt, pants, work boots and a bright yellow vest. I am escorted past the WTC footprint reflecting pools where the granite is still covered with white cardboard so as to not reveal the names until the 10-year anniversary ceremony.

On this day, the waterfalls are being tested for the very first time. I am thinking about all the people who jumped to their deaths here. The thunderous sound of the fountains interrupts the horrendous tapes being played back in my mind of people jumping from the 110-story buildings. I remember looking up 1,000 feet in the air, thinking at first it was furniture going out the windows with all the white paper that looked like confetti. My brain couldn’t process in those first few seconds that it was actually people jumping from the fire to their deaths. Ten years later I look up and see nothing but the blue sky. No soaring twin buildings; the structures destroyed, plucked from the skyline forever.

The guide escorts me from street level down 70 feet below ground. There is a maze of unstable steps and muddy ramps covered in grey puddles of concrete and dirty water, I keep thinking, “I am walking down into a dark tomb. … Why in the world is this museum being built all the way down here? … This literally feels like being inside a grave.”

The first thing I notice is the exposed slurry wall that keeps the Hudson River out of lower Manhattan. Then I see the WTC cross—the 20-foot steel beams retrieved from the fiery pile of debris. It’s preserved here, way beneath the city. It ought to be in Central Park serving two purposes; a daily reminder of the true evil that attacked us and a daily reminder of God.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE 1993 ATTACK

My guide escorts me to the exact spot where terrorists set off the bomb on Feb. 26,1993 — the first terror attack on the World Trade Center. The tapes in my mind start playing again, and this time I can see the people, scared, covered in soot, and stumbling out in all directions. I was there that horrible February day and night as school kids on a tour were stuck in an elevator on a high floor, and I reported on the attack for months after.

I was in the first pool of reporters allowed back into Tower 1 a week after the bombing. Black soot covered the carpets, and half-filled coffee cups sat exactly where they were left on desks next to open newspapers, a sign of how workers left in a huge hurry. The offices were frozen in time.

The country did not learn its lesson in 1993. President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno classified the bombing as a “crime” not a “terrorist act.” Bill Clinton never came to visit. He never stood on the soot caused by the terrorist bomb. He never promised to go after the people who did this.

So Osama bin Laden laughed in his cave and continued to patiently plot while we sat still as a nation distracted by sex scandals, politics and other nonsense. I covered the federal trial in lower Manhattan of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman and Ramzi Yousef. The prosecutor said it was the goal of these two terrorists to “topple the towers.” It never stopped being the goal.

Now, 19 years later, we have a young generation that knows little about 9/11 and even less about the 1993 attack in which six people were killed and hundreds were hurt.

REMEMBRANCES DELAYED AND BURIED

Ironically, right near the marking of the 1993 bombing down in the still-unfinished museum is the last remaining pulverized staircase—the “Survivors’ Stairs”—used by panicked people running from the flames on 9/11 to the smoke-filled streets. Also buried beneath the city in this tomb-like museum sits the remnants of a red New York City fire truck to honor the 343 firefighters who used those same stairs to walk up dozens of flights with pounds of heavy gear but never made it out.

There are walls featuring the faces of the innocent. People who went to work that morning at what was considered the most prestigious office building in the United States. I remember friends from high school and college always so proud to show a business card that read “1 World Trade Center” or “2 World Trade Center” and the floor number. It wasn’t just a building, it was an iconic symbol of America’s might, power and economic success, and that’s why the terrorists were relentless in their goal of toppling it.

The museum will also honor the memory of those killed at the Pentagon and in the field in Shanksville, Pa.—sites that actually have fitting memorials, both of which I’ve had the honor to visit and report on. Yet the long-overdue underground museum in New York City remains closed.

So, what’s the hold up? A spokeswoman for the 9/11 Museum director can’t really give me a solid reason: “The museum will not be opening this September, and we are currently working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who is the construction manager for the project, to determine the opening date for the museum.

“Donations are going very well, in large part due to the generosity of many Memorial visitors who hail from all 50 states and 150 different countries. We’re pleased to have welcomed more than 3.7 million visitors since opening to the public on Sept. 12, 2011.

“Thanks for checking in about the project and for your continued interest and support.”

POWERFUL MEMORIES AND IMPORTANT LESSONS DESERVE BETTER

As the museum tour ends, I am emotionally spent as I make my way past the construction workers back to the ramps. When I get back up to street level, the dust blows in my face, and I literally feel the remains of the innocent people who were pulverized here, their bodies never found. I sense their spirit in the air, and I break down and burst into tears.

When I speak about 9/11 I always mention the 1993 bombing in the same sentence. I maintain there would be no 9/11 had we learned the lesson and understood the terrorist message from that dark snowy day 19 years ago.

I pray this museum opens someday soon so people from all over the world can come here to pay their respects to innocent Americans and learn an invaluable double history lesson.

When Bevan Cooney — the former "junior" business partner to Hunter Biden and Devon Archer — went to jail in 2019, investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author Peter Schweizer thought he'd never gain access to the damning emails Cooney had promised. That all changed three weeks ago when Schweizer was given complete access to Cooney's gmail account.

Schweizer joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to describe just some of the business deals revealed within these emails — like Hunter working with an alleged Russian criminal and with Chinese communists to secure their assets, or to secure one-on-one time with his dad, then-Vice President Joe Biden. And all of this new information is completely separate from the emails allegedly discovered on Hunter Biden's laptop recently reported by the New York Post.

"So, I want to make this clear. This [Cooney's emails] has nothing to do with what's on the laptop … It didn't come from [Rudy] Giuliani. It didn't come from anybody else, right?" Glenn asked Schweizer.

"That's absolutely correct," Schweizer confirmed.

He briefly explained how Cooney, a former Los Angeles nightclub owner, is currently serving a prison sentence for his involvement in a fraudulent business bond scheme with Biden and Archer. From prison, Cooney gave Schweizer written permission to access his Gmail account.

"This is really important," he noted. "We're not looking at printouts. Not looking at PDFs. We're actually in his Gmail accounts themselves, sifting through these emails. And there's a shocking amount of information about deals involving China, involving Russia, involving all sorts of things they were trying to pull off."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

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The king of "No Spin" and bestselling author of "Killing Crazy Horse," Bill O'Reilly joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to talk about the latest developments in Joe Biden's Ukraine and China corruption scandal. Now that some of the details are finally coming out in the open, does the average Democrat care? Maybe, but the Left doesn't seem to.

O'Reilly argued there's more hatred for President Donald Trump now than in 2016, and that some people hate President Trump so much that they'd rather vote for the "senile, corrupt" Joe Biden.

"Hunter got tens of millions of dollars from Ukraine, from Russia, from China because his father was vice president. I have no doubt in my mind," O'Reilly said. "But the hatred for Donald Trump overrides that in the minds of millions of viewers. They're saying, 'You know, we'd rather have the senile corrupt guy than Trump.'"

Asked by Glenn if any other Republican running for president would be met with the same level of vitriol, O'Reilly answered, "The Left is the Left. They don't like America. The want to redo the Constitution. They want to take some of our freedoms, like the Second Amendment and the First Amendment, and change them. And they want to destroy capitalism and replace it with a big centralized government in Washington that controls the economy … but I'm talking about the folks. I have liberal friends and I say to them, 'Do you not understand that when you vote for Biden, you're voting against your own self interest?'"

Watch the video clip from the full podcast below, or find the full episode HERE:

Want to listen to more Glenn Beck podcasts?

Subscribe to Glenn Beck's channel on YouTube for FREE access to more of his masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, or subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

In a phone call with his constituents, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb) unleashed a torrent of criticisms about President Donald Trump, saying he "flirted with white supremacists," "kisses dictators' butts," and "spends like a drunken sailor."

On the radio program Friday, Glenn said he was disappointed in Sen. Sasse for apparently forgetting all of President Trump's accomplishments. Because, in reality, Trump has accomplished a lot more than many presidents before him.

Then, for anyone who may have forgotten President Trump's achievements — or who simply hate the man so much they've ignored them — Glenn listed just some of the many things this president has achieved during his three and a half years in the White House.

Watch the video below to hear Glenn's message for all the Trump-haters who have forgotten Trump's accomplishments, or you can read Glenn's list HERE:

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President Trump has given us great judges on the lower court, 3 judges far superior than Roberts and other bogus constitutionalists as SCOTUS and one just may turn out to be another Clarence Thomas. He kicked the ass of ISIS and came home.

He got us out of the disastrous Iran deal, killed their head of terror, boxed them in and is currently collapsing their economy while also brokering a Mid East peace deal that everyone said could never happen. He moved our embassy to Jerusalem despite the state department, something no president has done even though they all promised.

Yes, he met with the North Korean Dictator. I hated that, but I also hated the fact that no other president did anything and North Korea kept gaining power. He has gotten Europe to pay their share of NATO, brought the Arabs and the Jews together, while smashing the choke hold of the PLO, and stood up to the Chinese instead of selling them supercomputers (Clinton), accepting lead poison in dog food (Bush), or loving the CCP and taking millions in dirty money (Obama/Biden).

He also has defended religious liberty unlike any other president at least in the last 100 years, and is a true pro-life advocate that unlike most republicans backs it up with action instead of just talk.

President Trump has also opened doors that the GOP was too wussy to even try to open with Hispanics and Blacks. He again didn't pander. He instead cleared the dead wood and opened pathways up so they could get higher education, create jobs, and not get lost in the prison system.

He also has defended religious liberty... and is a true pro-life advocate.

President Trump also took on an economy that had been beaten down, a people who had been told "you didn't build that" and, in fact, Obama and Biden claimed that the economy was "as good as it would ever get," that we would never create jobs in sectors ever again.

President Trump gave us the lowest unemployment rate since 1969 (the year I celebrated my 5th birthday,) the lowest unemployment for Hispanics & Blacks ever, and the first real growth in pay that I can remember.

President Trump then responded to the largest pandemic in 100 years by doing a couple of things I have never seen a president do:

  1. America's biggest capitalist shuts down the entire economy and knowingly puts his re-election at risk in order to save people.
  2. Closes travel with China and Europe, only to be called “racist," "xenophobic" and accused of stirring hatred. Now everyone says they were for it, but he stood alone and took the heat.

When everyone bashed him because they thought he would seize control and become an authoritarian by telling states what to do, or taking control of companies and telling them what to produce, he simply asked the free market to step to the plate, because he trusts the people of this country to do the right thing. By not taking control, he was called a dictator and a Nazi. Meanwhile he has been blamed for the blood bath created by Gov. Cuomo's nursing home policies. They said 2 million would die, best case scenario 200,000 — if we did everything right. Gee, seems that we are now in the time period they told us would be phase two, it seems as though we seem to have hit that "best case scenario" at this point.

While all of this has gone on, President Trump has fought the lies that were started by Hillary Clinton's team to smear him as a Russian operative. It was enabled by the Obama White House and included the DOJ, CIA, Dept of State, FBI, and DNI. Did I leave anyone out? Oh, yeah we are now getting evidence that members of the Pentagon may have been involved as well. Not to mention the so-called "press" and Congress who did things that would embarrass not only "Frank Underwood" but also Kevin Spacey. He has single handedly exposed the press for who they are and have always been. Because of his tweets, personal style and frankly balls of steel, he has exposed those who truly are: "Enemies of the people." I hated that when he first said it, but it is true. Any person or group that knowingly lies to destroy our president, our Constitution and the free market, are not just enemies of the people, they are enemies of the freedom of all mankind.

As someone who didn't support President Trump at first (and that is putting it mildly) I remain honest enough to judge him on his entire record. He is perhaps the only man in America that can and has stood entirely alone, surrounded by enemies, surrounded by those who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, who are now actively engaged in destroying it and any elected president who stands in their way.

Personally, I have grown sick and tired of spineless, do nothing, old, corrupt GOP politicians who are either part of the problem or too frightened to stand alone and speak up. The vast majority are all "Sunshine Patriots." History will condemn those who did nothing but complain and whine, while others not only rang the bell, but stood and took the hits, who risked it all and lost money, reputation and perhaps, God forbid, some who gave the ultimate sacrifice to fight the evil that rages so clearly against the light.

100 years from now history will judge all of us. So will our children's children. Most will be forgotten. Those who failed to show up on the battlefield or cower in the trees, will be remembered with shame and disdain. Others like President Trump, I believe will be seen as indispensable.