After years of planning, construction and waiting, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is officially ready to make its debut.

The museum’s board announced Monday that it will open on May 21, after a week long preview that’s exclusive to first responders and others who were affected by the terrorist attacks.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is the chair of the 9/11 Memorial, said the museum’s opening is not only an important milestone in downtown’s rebuilding but also the introduction of a major teaching tool.

“Through its long commitment to educate future generations and to safeguard an important American history, building the museum is in large part the answer to the violence of the 9/11 attacks,” he said in a statement.

From May 15 to May 20, the museum, which is located in the foundation of the old Twin Towers, will remain open for 24 hours and be free to first responders, victims’ families, survivors and lower Manhattan residents during the dedication period.

“It will be a tremendous privilege to walk the completed 9/11 Memorial Museum for the first time with those who are a part of this defining period of our nation’s history,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said in a statement.

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Tickets will go on sale at 911memorial.org starting Wednesday. There will be a $24 ticket fee to cover the museum’s annual $63 million operating budget.
Victims’ families will not be charged.

The museum will feature first-person testimonials of the 1993 and 2001 attacks, artifacts from the wreckage and other materials that are related to the events of September 11th and its aftermath.