LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) – A pandemic has inflicted heavy damage on another New York City institution, the 9/11 Tribute Museum in Lower Manhattan.

The museum is expected to close forever after a sharp decline in visitors and revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m afraid that history will be lost. The next generation will not know what people saw,” said Joan Mastrapaola, a board member of the Tribute Museum on September 11.

Stories are told here about what happened on September 12, 2001. The day when New Yorkers and the world had to understand this.

“They won’t be able to hear what it was like in this community in the early days of the restoration effort, what it was like to walk the streets, how it was to see ash-covered trees,” Mastrapaolo said.

Separate from Memorial 9/11 at ground zero, at 9/11 Tribute Museum on Greenwich Street opened in 2006, originally by widows and families of FDNY members who died in attacks as a support mechanism for all families of victims. But unfortunately, like many other organizations, it failed to survive and recover financially from the pandemic.

“For me, as a member of the community on September 11, it is a very, very difficult decision (to close),” Mastrapaola said.

A difficult decision, in part, because educational programs and student field trips will disappear. The lessons were no longer taught by those who were there.

“It’s unbelievable that something like this, which brings so much back to the public, is coming to an end,” said Lieutenant Stephen Cascarelli, FDNY (retired) and tour guide.

The end of the impressive race – more than 500 thousand tours, five million visitors from 141 countries.

“I think it’s important to keep it here for visitors to see,” said museum visitor Anne Lee.

“I don’t know if I will ever truly believe that there is no museum. I will cherish this place very dear to my heart while I am alive,” Mastrapoola said.

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