The National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened up to much fanfare including a President Obama oration this past Thursday May 15, but all that was soon deflated once a hidden agenda in one of the memorial’s corridors.
A gift shop.
The shop sells items like sweatshirts, mugs, umbrellas, tote bags, phone cases, silk scarves with images of the Twin Towers, ornaments of the two buildings and even plush dog toys and designer jewelry.
“I honestly don’t think it’s appropriate — selling scarves to commercialize the deaths of 3,000 people,” Brooklyn state Sen. Martin Golden told The New York Post, which kicked off the conversation Sunday. “I don’t think it’s right.”
The museum, which officially opens to the public on Wednesday, relies on the proceeds from the sales to help support its operation. It also charges a $24 admission fee to the museum.
In a Facebook survey, a majority of TODAY viewers said they would buy something from the gift shop at the 9/11 museum.
Michael Frazier, a 9/11 Memorial spokesperson defended the gift shop’s presence in a statement to TODAY, which read, “The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a nonprofit that does not yet receive any federal, state or city funding for its operations. To care for the Memorial and Museum, our organization relies on private fundraising, gracious donations and revenue from ticketing and carefully selected keepsake items for retail. The museum store is open during this free dedication period when guests include 9/11 family members, rescuers, recovery workers, survivors and the residents of the local community. In fact, many of our guests from the 9/11 community have visited the shop and purchased a keepsake from their historic experience.”
Is this a case of too soon or not never?
View the gallery to see memorabilia of the 9/11 Museum Gift Shop and reactions of some concerned citizens, and give us your two cents on the matter in the comment section below.