9/11 Museum criticized for accepting entertainment award

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9/11 Museum Criticized for Accepting Entertainment Award

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum opened May 21 last year to commemorate those killed in the attacks.

Now, families of those who lost loved ones are angry about an award the museum recently received.

"New York City's 9/11 museum has just been awarded a themed entertainment honor at a ceremony in Disneyland. ... Also honored? The Harry Potter Theme Park. The 9/11 museum is in the same category as that," Fox News reporter Heather Nauert said.

The Extraordinary Cultural Achievement award comes from the Themed Entertainment Association. The 9/11 museum in particular was being honored for the way it "conveys its important story with eloquence and emotional power while allowing for thoughtful reflection, learning, and tribute by every visitor."

Others see the honor differently.

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9/11 Museum criticized for accepting entertainment award
An opening panel showing a timeline of events seen during a press preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site May 14, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: The salvaged tridents from the World Trade Center are viewed during a preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum on May 14, 2014 in New York City. The long awaited museum will open to the public on May 21 following a six-day dedication period for 9/11 families, survivors, first responders ,workers, and local city residents. For the dedication period the doors to the museum will be open for 24-hours a day from May 15 through May 20. On Thursday President Barack Obama and the first lady will attend the dedication ceremony for the opening of the museum. While the construction of the museum has often been fraught with politics and controversy, the exhibitions and displays seek to pay tribute to the 2,983 victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 bombing while also educating the public on the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 21: The National 9/11 Flag is viewed at the 9/11 Museum where it is being displayed for the first time on May 21, 2015 in New York City. The National 9/11 Flag, an American flag recovered nearly destroyed from Ground Zero, was restored in 'stitching ceremonies' held across the country. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A visitor walks past an exhibit at the National September 11 Museum in New York on February 10, 2015. The only Al-Qaeda plotter convicted over the 9/11 attacks has told American lawyers that members of the Saudi royal family donated millions of dollars to the terror group in the 1990s. French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui, dubbed the '20th hijacker,' made the revelations in court papers filed in a New York federal court by lawyers for victims of the attacks who accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting Al-Qaeda. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors look at an exhibit at the National September 11 Museum in New York on February 10, 2015. The only Al-Qaeda plotter convicted over the 9/11 attacks has told American lawyers that members of the Saudi royal family donated millions of dollars to the terror group in the 1990s. French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui, dubbed the '20th hijacker,' made the revelations in court papers filed in a New York federal court by lawyers for victims of the attacks who accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting Al-Qaeda. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Visitors look at an exhibit at the National September 11 Museum in New York on February 10, 2015. The only Al-Qaeda plotter convicted over the 9/11 attacks has told American lawyers that members of the Saudi royal family donated millions of dollars to the terror group in the 1990s. French citizen Zacarias Moussaoui, dubbed the '20th hijacker,' made the revelations in court papers filed in a New York federal court by lawyers for victims of the attacks who accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting Al-Qaeda. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: People visit the National 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York, United States on May 25, 2014. The National 9/11 Memorial Museum was opened to the public for the first time on May 21, 2014 and telling the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: People visit the National 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York, United States on May 25, 2014. The National 9/11 Memorial Museum was opened to the public for the first time on May 21, 2014 and telling the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, archives, narratives and a collection of monumental and authentic artifacts. (Photo by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 15: A helmet worn by New York City Fire Department Captain Patrick John Brown on September 11, 2001 is displayed during a press preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero May 15, 2014 in New York City. The museum spans seven stories, mostly underground, and contains artifacts from the attack on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001 that include the 80-foot high tridents, the so-called 'Ground Zero Cross,' the destroyed remains of Company 21's New York Fire Department Engine as well as smaller items such as letter that fell from a hijacked plane and posters of missing loved ones projected onto the wall of the museum. The museum will open to the public on May 21. (Photo by James Keivom-Pool/Getty Images)
Remains of a New York City Fire Department Ladder Company 3 truck seen during a press preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site May 14, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
A sign in an exhibit about the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, seen during a press preview in the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site May 14, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Cards, patches and mementos of those killed at Ground Zero are are viewed during a preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum on May 14, 2014 in New York City. The long awaited museum will open to the public on May 21 following a six-day dedication period for 9/11 families, survivors, first responders, workers, and local city residents. For the dedication period the doors to the museum will be open for 24-hours a day from May 15 through May 20. On Thursday President Barack Obama and the first lady will attend the dedication ceremony for the opening of the museum. While the construction of the museum has often been fraught with politics and controversy, the exhibitions and displays seek to pay tribute to the 2,983 victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 bombing while also educating the public on the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
An American flag found at the World Trade Center site (below) and a photograph of a flag raising at the site by Thomas E. Franklin/The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey) (top), seen during a press preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site May 14, 2014 in New York. 'MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION' AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
An exhibit about the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon, seen during a press preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site May 14, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: People tour the National September 11 Memorial Museum on May 14, 2014 in New York City. The long awaited museum will open to the public on May 21 following a six-day dedication period for 9/11 families, survivors, first responders, workers, and local city residents. For the dedication period the doors to the museum will be open for 24-hours a day from May 15 through May 20. On Thursday President Barack Obama and the first lady will attend the dedication ceremony for the opening of the museum. While the construction of the museum has often been fraught with politics and controversy, the exhibitions and displays seek to pay tribute to the 2,983 victims of the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 bombing while also educating the public on the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A New York Fire Department ambulance, is seen during a press preview of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site May 14, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: A photo of a victim of 9/11 terrorist attacks and red roses are seen on the September 11 memorial in New York, United States, on September 11, 2014. After the remembrance ceremony held for the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, September 11 memorial and 9/11 museum reopened to visit in New York. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
(Photo: AOL/Lisa Kirshner)
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"It received an award which was arguably an inappropriate award," WNYW reports.

Jim Riches, a retired firefighter who lost his son that day, told the New York Daily News, "It's totally outrageous that they would participate in this ... It's a moneymaking place for entertainment and they got an award for it. They've made it into an amusement park."

Since its opening, the September 11 Memorial & Museum has been the source of constant criticism with its gift shop receiving the brunt of it.

"It's a place of business. It's a conglomerate. It's a corporation. It is not a place of memory. It is not a place of solace. It is not a place to go to show regard. It's run by civilians who are business people," former NYPD patrolman James Ryder told CNN.

The museum announced the award back in November, but the ceremony wasn't held until Saturday.

In a November announcement, the museum said: "When we accept the award ... we will do so with gratitude for the recognition but especially in honor of our visitors, who every day teach us about the museum's potential."

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