U.S. News


Survivors, Families Outraged Over 9/11 Museum Gift Shop

The National September 11 Memorial And Museum is set to open to remember those lost in the terrorist attack. There's also a gift shop.
Posted at 3:09 PM, May 18, 2014

The 9/11 Memorial Museum is set to open this week. It sits on ground zero and promises to present "intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning, and recovery." But some people are angry — asking how a gift shop plays into that whole idea. 

"It was opened to tell the story of one of the darkest days in our nation's history... Family of those lost in September 11th are outraged that the museum has a store... One family member calling it insensitive and repugnant." (Via Fox News

The shop sells a number of items, including mugs, key chains, t-shirts, hats, hoodies, bookmarks and more. (Via National September 11 Memorial & Museum)

A mother who lost her son in the 9/11 attacks spoke with the New York Post, saying, "Here is essentially our tomb of the unknown. To sell baubles I find quite shocking ... 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."

In this New York Times  article, several New Yorkers were quoted expressing their issues with the museum. It seemed one major complaint is the feeling that the museum is not meant for New Yorkers. One man who lost a brother said, "It was made for people who don’t really know what 9/11 is about ... No one who went through what we went through needs a museum to tell us what we lost. We already know that in our hearts."

"The problem I'm going to have with that is that I'm going to see people going there like tourist and laughing and joking on their cell phone. Doing selfies in front of these things that really can not be expressed into words." (Via NY1)

But not everyone has a problem with the gift shop, especially considering the museum is completely self-funded through admission fees and sales. CNN talked to the museum's president and CEO. 

"What's most important is whether the stories it tells...  helps fulfill our promise to never forget... We have to pay for it, we have to make sure this museum is available forever for everyone."

Still, it's not just the gift shop causing controversy at the museum. 

There are still the remains of more than 1,000 unidentified people trapped in the rubble from 2001. Those remains have been moved to a new resting place. (ViaVeterans Today)  

"A repository 70 feet under the 9/11 Memorial Museum. An area the medical examiners officer says will be off limits to the public." (Via WIVB)

The museum's website says the repository will allow medical examiners to continue making identifications. Also, families of the victims will be allowed in a viewing area and will never be charged an entrance fee. (Via National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said this during the unveiling, "There are roughly 3,000 families that think this is a good idea and there's roughly a dozen that don't. No matter what you do not everyone is going to be on board." (Via The Telegraph)

The 9/11 Memorial Museum will open to the public May 21.