Westfield will mark the opening of its World Trade Center shopping mall with a series of solemn and joyful events next week.

A decade after the project was first announced by the Port Authority in New York and New Jersey – and nearly 15 years after 9/11 – the Westfield World Trade Center will unveil more than 365,000 square feet of retail space housing 120-plus stores.

The opening day will start just before 12 noon on August 16 with a special flag commemoration ceremony at Oculus Plaza on the corner of Church and Dey streets.

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The family day celebration will also feature hourly stage performances in the Oculus by a host of cultural icons and arts organizations, as well as samplings from the center’s selection of food vendors.

Westfield said it has invited families and individuals with a special connection to the World Trade Centre site to attend the opening; events were planned in collaboration with the 9/11 Tribute Center and HEART 9/11 and with support from the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which is adjacent to the Westfield World Trade Center.

“The World Trade Center is a symbol of hope, opportunity, progress, and perseverance,” said William Hecht, Westfield COO in the US.

“Westfield is profoundly proud to be a part of this project and to introduce new experiences and energy to Lower Manhattan. We are incredibly excited to open our doors to our neighbors, New York and tri-state area families, visitors, and all of our partners on August 16.”