updated 05/16/2014 AT 2:25 PM ET
•originally published 05/16/2014 AT 10:30 AM ET
On Thursday, President Barack Obama arrived at ground zero for the dedication of the site’s museum. In his speech to the crowd of survivors from the 2001 terrorist attacks, Obama said the mission of the new exhibit is to show “the true spirit of 9/11 – love, compassion, sacrifice – and to enshrine it forever in the heart of our nation, reports the Washington Post.
The expansive 110,000-square-foot museum is currently open to survivors of September 11 and those who lost family members on that tragic day. On May 21, the museum will open to the general public.
Construction on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum began in 2006, with the memorial site itself opening on September 12, 2011. Thanks to Earth Cam, the entire eight-year building process has been captured on camera and condensed to an impressive two-and-a-half-minute video.
Above, watch the National September 11 Memorial & Museum rise from the foundations of the fallen Twin Towers and mark a new chapter for the landmark location.