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The eight-acre memorial, which includes two deep pools replicating the footprint of the twin towers, will be dedicated on Sept. 11 and open to the public the following day. Names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks will be inscribed on bronze panels around the pools.

Sign-up for the timed-entry passes are available via the memorial’s website, 911memorial.org. The site will allow times to be reserved up to six months in advance.

“The idea is that when people are planning their visits to New York City, we think this is going to be a place everyone is going to want to come down to and pay their respects,” Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, said Thursday. “It’s a place to sit and contemplate a space the public has not set foot on in 10 years.”

Visitors will be allowed to leave flowers or other remembrances. “This is a ritual of this country and we’re going to observe it,” authorities say.

Access to the memorial will be limited because it is surrounded by construction on the remainder of the 16-acre trade center site: four office towers, a transit hub and the 9/11 Museum.

Memorial officials say the site’s capacity is about 1,500 people at once and they expect 4 million visitors during the first year. About a quarter of the memorial plaza will remain off-limits to visitors due to continuing construction of the transit hub adjacent to the memorial.

Families of those killed in the 9/11 attacks can reserve passes through a dedicated phone line, and 500 families have already done so, said Michael Frazier, memorial spokesman. A private entry and security check in the screening area will be set aside for families.