9/11 museum: $24 admission, overpriced exploitative gift shop sitting atop ‘8,000 unidentified body parts’
For any 9/11 truther, the sentiment is fairly similar in relation to the opening of the 9/11 memorial museum. The site is a shrine represents a sad tribute and glorification of the 9/11 Commission’s farcical narrative which largely stands as the government’s gospel for the September 11th attacks.
The museum at Ground Zero tells the dark story of the 9/11 terror attacks with spectacular artifacts and exhibits. It pays heart-wrenching tribute to the innocents and heroes killed that day.
It also has a gift shop.
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 an 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.”
The museum, which descends into the bedrock below ground zero, and a street-level memorial plaza featuring a pair of waterfalls that opened to the public in 2011, together cost more than $700 million to build, a massive sum that was covered by government agencies and private donations, including $15 million from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
But that tab did not include the annual estimated $63 million it will cost to operate the site. That is primarily why a ticket to the museum, which opens to the public May 21, will cost $24, with exceptions for victims’ families and those who worked in the rescue and cleanup operations. The memorial plaza is free.
Among the museum shop’s specially designed items:
• A black and white “Darkness Hoodie” printed with an image of the Twin Towers. The pullover, like other “Darkness” items, bears the words “In Darkness We Shine Brightest.” Price: $39.
• Silk scarves printed with 1986 photos by Paula Barr, including a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. Another depicts “lunchtime on the WTC Plaza.” They go for $95 each.
• “Survivor Tree” earrings, named after a pear tree that stood in the World Trade Center plaza and survived 9/11. Made of bronze and freshwater pearls, a pair costs $64. A leaf ornament molded from the swamp white oaks at the memorial is said to change from amber to dark brown “and sometimes pink around the time of the 9/11 anniversary.”
• Heart-shaped rocks inscribed with slogans such as “United in Hope” and “Honor.” One rock bears a quote by Virgil that is emblazoned on a massive blue-tiled wall in the museum: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” It costs $39.
John Feal, a Ground Zero demolition supervisor who runs the FealGood Foundation for ailing 9/11 responders, said he understands the need to raise money for costs, including six-figure salaries for execs like CEO Joe Daniels, who takes in $378,000.