Memorial Museum Gift Shop Sells 9/11 Souvenirs

A memorial museum exhibiting the September 11th (9/11) attacks has come under controversy from the public and victims’ families alike due to the 9/11 memorabilia sold in the museum’s gift shop, which features toy rescue dogs, mousemats, and a t-shirt emblazoned with the Twin Towers.

Families of those killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks of 2001 have expressed their outrage following the recent opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York.

The museum, which is situated above the resting place of more than 8000 unidentified body parts found amongst the wreckage of the disaster, consists of a $24 per person (£14) exhibit showcasing various debris recovered from the disaster along with photographs of 9/11 victims. Accompanying the exhibit is a café along with a gift shop containing mouse mats, stuffed toy rescue dogs, hoodies depicting the twin towers, and many other questionable items for sale.

Opposition had been voiced early on by families of the victims regarding the appropriateness of such a venture upon the announcement of the museum, with many of these concerns reaffirmed after experiencing the museum’s gift shop first hand. The museum and its gift shop has been described by victims’ families as ‘crass’ and ‘insensitive’, with families viewing the museum as an attempt at commercialising the disaster which killed their loved ones.

Michael Frazier, a spokesman for the museum, responding to the criticism of its gift shop, stated that “to care for the memorial and museum, our organisation relies on private fundraising, gracious donations and revenue from ticketing and carefully selected keepsake items for retail.” Yet Diane Horning, who lost her 26-year-old son in the attacks, described the opening of the gift shop as a “money-making venture to support inflated salaries” upon the site where she is able to visit her son’s remains. Other criticisms have also been raised regarding the opening of the museum, with critics stating that the millions of dollars that have been donated to the museum should have been donated instead to charity work.

Families of those killed in the attack were granted free 24 hour access to the museum and its gift shop the week before officially opening to the public. However, further controversy was caused when the museum hosted a VIP cocktail reception a day before its official opening, in which victims’ families were reportedly turned away at the door. John Feal, a Ground Zero volunteer, stated that “to have a festive occasion on human remains, it’s repulsive, it’s repugnant.”

Tickets had already sold out days before the launching of the museum prior to the opening day of Wednesday 21 May.


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