Introducing the 9/11 Museum...Gift shop?
Nothing much wrong with a gift shop at an historic site. Gettysburg National Cemetery has a fine gift shop as does the USS Arizona Memoiral.
The difference is that both the Gettysburg and Arizona gift shops are not located on hallowed ground. The Gettysburg gift shop is in the Heritage Center and the Arizona bookshop/gift shop is in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Not so the 9/11 Museum, Amidst the displays of artifacts and stories of heroism and terror, we are treated to this:
The 9/11 museum’s cavernous boutique offers a vast array of souvenir goods. For example: FDNY, NYPD and Port Authority Police T-shirts ($22) and caps ($19.95); earrings molded from leaves and blossoms of downtown trees ($20 to $68); cop and firefighter charms by Pandora and other jewelers ($65); “United We Stand” blankets.
There are bracelets, bowls, buttons, mugs, mousepads, magnets, key chains, flags, pins, stuffed animals, toy firetrucks, cellphone cases, tote bags, books and DVDs.
Even FDNY vests for dogs come in all sizes.
After paying $24 admission for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and $15 for kids 7 to 17, visitors can shop till they drop.
“To me, it’s the crassest, most insensitive thing to have a commercial enterprise at the place where my son died,” Diane Horning said.
She and husband Kurt never recovered the remains of their son Matthew, 26, a database administrator for Marsh & McLennan and aspiring guitarist.
About 8,000 unidentified body parts are now stored out of sight in a “remains repository” at the museum’s underground home.
“Here is essentially our tomb of the unknown. To sell baubles I find quite shocking and repugnant,” said Horning, who also objects to the museum cafe.
“I think it’s a money-making venture to support inflated salaries, and they’re willing to do it over my son’s dead body.”
It isn't just a typical, over priced tourist trap. Mrs. Horning has a point. The museum is situated on sacred ground. It would be like a floating gift shop over the USS Arizona or putting a commercial kiosk at The Angle at Gettysburg.
The 9/11 museum gift shop is unseemly, unsightly, and it should be relocated outside of the museum.