Memorial Museum: A Source of Controversy
After a long design and construction process, the 9/11 memorial museum is again the focus of controversy.
The 9/11 Museum commemorates those whose lives were inalterably changed by the events of September 11. As a result, President Obama, in his dedication remarks, described the museum that lies deep beneath ground level as “a sacred space.”
For those impacted to this day by the events of more than a decade ago, some features of the museum are hard to bear. Controversy erupted in two directions from the survivors of those injured or killed:
- The gift shop: While most museums house a gift shop, the souvenir shop at the memorial museum has drawn sharp comments. Described as “crass commercialism” by families of survivors, others point to the need for the museum to financially sustain itself into the future. While administrators note items were carefully selected, some products like expensive scarves, earrings and doggie coats are subjects of complaint. Recently a ceramic platter in the shape of the United States with hearts marking where the planes struck on 9/11 was removed from sale.
- Remains on the premises: Many families received no remains to inter and no grave to visit. Instead, the museum is housing unidentified remains in a private space available to families at any time the museum is open. Some families object to this interment and wish instead for the remains of the Unknown to be housed separately, above ground.
A tragedy the scope of September 11 is not likely something that all can agree on. Hopefully, these issues can be resolved in a way that meets the emotional needs of individuals and families.
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