Construction for 9/11 museum put on hold
NEW YORK (NBC) -- One year after it opened, the National September 11th Memorial in lower Manhattan is an emotional magnet.
"It's definitely awesome,” said Steve Lopez.
"Absolutely spectacular. They did a beautiful job,” said Mary Ann DiPalermo.
While most visitors seem touched, there is also simmering disappointment.
"Without a museum, it's a travesty,” said Edie Lutnick, who wears a broken heart necklace for her brother.
"Broken, but never severed. That belongs to my brother Gary."
He was among the 658 employees at Cantor Fitzgerald killed in the 9/11 attacks.
"Without a museum, this memorial doesn't teach you anything. It doesn't tell them anything about what happened on that day,” said Lutnick. “It doesn't tell them anything about the people who were murdered there."
Eleven years later, the bond trading firm that lost more employees than anyone is again thriving, now in midtown.
The Cantor Fitzgerald relief fund, led by Edie Lutnick, has helped raise millions of dollars for 9/11 families. She also wrote "An Unbroken Bond" about the politics behind delays at ground zero.
"To me, that's a missed opportunity, because that's 4.5 million people who saw what appears to be a random listing of names around two waterfalls,” said Lutnick.
Memorial and museum president Joe Daniels said if construction resumed soon the museum could open in a year.
"The museum was supposed to open this year. And we understand that it has to happen,” said Daniels. "We want it done as soon as possible."
Until then, visitors peek behind the glass at steel beams and other artifacts that will one day be exhibits.
"I think it would be a more rewarding experience to see details. That would be a more fulfilling visit,” said Lindsay Paulin.
An echo of what 9/11 relatives say: without a museum, like the skyscrapers around them, the experience is incomplete.