Holocaust museum official to head Sept. 11 museum

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A director at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was named to head the museum that will commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Alice M. Greenwald will oversee the creation of the World Trade Center Memorial Museum, an underground gallery of exhibits planned next to the memorial that marks the destroyed twin towers' footprints. Groundbreaking is scheduled for next month; the museum and memorial are slated to open in 2009.

The museum "will honor in perpetuity those whose lives were lost, and demonstrate to all who visit the World Trade center site for years to come, the healing power of memory in retelling their story," Greenwald said Tuesday in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.

With Greenwald's experience, "the Sept. 11 story will be told in depth and with sensitivity," said Gretchen Dykstra, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.

Greenwald will also help develop programs for the museum and will oversee Sept. 11-related programming in a visitors' center that was once to house a freedom museum on the trade center site.

Greenwald has been associate director for museum programs at the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., since 2001, overseeing several departments and heading a National Education Institute. She has served as a consultant to the museum since 1986 and was a member of the original design team for its permanent exhibitions.

Greenwald was also executive director of the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia in the early 1980s, and has held positions at Hebrew Union College Skirball Museum in Los Angeles and the Maurice Spertus Museum of Judaica in Chicago. She will begin her new job in mid-April.

Preliminary exhibit plans released last year for the memorial museum included a proposal for an "immersive" area with police sirens and pictures of the falling towers to recreate the attacks' experience, as well as the display of large-scale artifacts from the towers like trade center steel.

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