9/11 memorial plaza in NYC to open to public

By SAMANTHA GROSS | September 12, 2011 | 2:40 AM EDT

One World Trade Center overlooks the National September Memorial, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 in New York. Ceremonies will be held at the site Sunday for the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK (AP) — The plot of land in New York City that has been known for a decade as "the pile," ''the pit" and "ground zero" will welcome the public for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks.

The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum plans to open its gates at 10 a.m. Monday under fairly tight security. A few thousand people will be allowed to walk among hundreds of white oak trees on an 8-acre plaza where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood.

Visitors will also be able to run their fingertips over the names of the people killed in the terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, as well as the six slain during the bombing of the trade center in 1993.