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Survivors, families outraged over 9/11 museum gift shop

Survivors, Families Outraged Over 9/11 Museum Gift Shop
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. (Via Veterans 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.

Join the discussion

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wclark8 May 18 2014 at 9:07 PM

Former upstate New York fire captain again,In my opinion,a 911 museum should be a serious place like Arlington Cemetary,the Arizona Memorial and the Alamo.In my opinion,there is no place for a gift shop selling cheap-tacky souvineers in such a serius place

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wclark8 wclark8 May 18 2014 at 9:21 PM

This,is in my opinion,is like a gift shop at the Alamo selling cheap replica Bowie knives and Davy Crockett hats made in China-Again,no place for a gift shop selling cheap-tacky souvineers in such a serious place.

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kcarthey wclark8 May 18 2014 at 9:44 PM

And all three of those have gift shops selling authorized materials that go to benefit the memorials. All three also have really tacky stores across the street selling unauthorized materials. Your choice and knowing the WalMart mentality in the US I can guess which store sells the most.

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talfe May 18 2014 at 11:40 PM

There is a gift shop at the National Holocaust Museum, but they sell things like books, DVD, and educational materials for those who weren't born to see the horror of that time. They also do not allow cell phone usage, loud talking, or photography since it is designated a memorial site. This would be appropriate to apply to the 9/11 museum.

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3 replies
terryriddle May 19 2014 at 9:51 AM

Everyone needs to get a life. As a Vietnam Vet...there are items with pictures of the wall on coffee mugs, etc. The facility is self sufficient and to support itself. It is a way to remember 9/11 each day. So...lets move on!!

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bfgry484yerhdbv May 18 2014 at 9:12 PM

The whole museum is just a money making skeem to line pockets.

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j.pr3 May 18 2014 at 9:03 PM

Doesn't anybody else find it disgusting that somebody is making money on the backs of those killed, wounded, and their families? What a sick, sick, sick, society we live in.

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Maria B#$^s May 18 2014 at 8:52 PM

i dont need a museum or gift shop to remember. And i didnt even lose anyone that day. but i WILL NEVER FORGET that other people DID.

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maryt2054 Maria B#$^s May 18 2014 at 9:13 PM

So don't buy a book.

Look, I will never forget a second of that horrible day. Still, I have books that will go to my nieces and nephews when I pass, because most of them were too young.

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1 reply
heart2survive maryt2054 May 18 2014 at 9:47 PM

I did lose someone that day...in Shanksville. I find nothing insulting about a book. I do however with the T shirts, key chains, coffee cups or other tacky made in China "trinkets" .Books are a learning tool, they record history...even dark horrific tragedies like 911. I find nothing insulting about a historical book, as long as it's accurate and factual..

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hrdbal51 May 18 2014 at 8:51 PM

We have lost all sense of who we are as a people and a nation. To make money off the memorial is repugnant.

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2 replies
maryt2054 hrdbal51 May 18 2014 at 9:16 PM

Have you ever been to any of the Civil War battlefields? Ever been to the Normandy battlefields in Europe?

These places all have gift shops. The gift shops fund support of the various museums. The "profits" do not go into the hands of private individuals but serve to take care of the museums and battlefields and keep the entry costs as low as possible so that everyone can enter and see and remember and learn.

What we unfortunately have too much of is unreasoning ignorance.

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heart2survive maryt2054 May 18 2014 at 10:00 PM

The difference Mary is the time frame. Tragic still, yes...but times are changed. This recent tragedy wasn't a part of our internal birth and history of 50 states, the United States of America..emerged. This was a vicious attack against innocent, unarmed...people, who had nothing to do with or any influence over our country's political decisions. Our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers..extended families were MURDERED that day, not the people who made policies or decided policies that attacked other countries. Innocent souls. We should remember them, but remember them with respect.

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henry_bevis hrdbal51 May 18 2014 at 9:59 PM

I would agree but the people working there are just making a living. Them selling things don't take away the fact that 3,000 people died during this time. It also gives people something to remember what really happened. Blame the fanatic Muslims that killed all of the people that day.

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doug May 18 2014 at 8:00 PM

I am sure none of these protesting families have ever bought a souvenir from a Civil War battlefield store, or maybe Little Big Horn store, or from any of the battle field store honoring the Fight for Independence of our nation or the World Wars. Sometimes folk lose common sense.

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lemon8tart doug May 18 2014 at 8:28 PM

I have been & no, I have not purchased a "souvenir". How much more can one trivialize Acts of War & the dead?? Maybe they should sell oven mitts at The Holocaust Museum or shackles at Civil Rights areas of horror in the South.

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S321Saint May 18 2014 at 10:27 PM

A good point. Even now...13 years later...some "grieving" families refuse to move on, refuse to accept anything except everyone's pity. These were the same ones that made sure that NO TV footage was to be shown on anniversaries...to the point where you have some kids now who "heard" about 9-11 and all they know about it was it was a terrorist attack that brought down the Twin Towers. They've never seen any of the footage. Movies that were shot before 9-11 were digitally changed to exclude the Twin Towers. Bascially the nation has forgotten exactly what happened on 9/11/2001, who was the cause of it and how President Bush reacted. All comments about 9-11 are framed with President Obama.

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3 replies
skitzlpk May 18 2014 at 7:56 PM

Understanding how these folks feel, I remember going to the Viet Nam war memorial for the first time in DC. It's a very somber place with those vertical walls there to remind you of the many who gave their lives in a very controversial war with the seemingly endless names of those who gave it all. The memorial itself demands respect that the reverent minded adhere to.

It's true no matter where you go & what the mood, there might be that very few who walk beyond the line of decency. Let's hope security keeps those types straight & sends them on their way.

I have to somewhat take exception to what one gentleman said though. This didn't happen only to New Yorkers by a long shot. The event of 911 impacted this nation as a whole no different than Pearl Harbor or the Oklahoma City federal building bombing. We might be a politically fractured nation but those incidents unite those with real red, white & blue spirit running through their veins..

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