Some 9/11 Families Upset Over 'Distasteful' Museum Gift Shop
The National September 11 Memorial Museum pays a solemn tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks. It opened last week amid controversy over the placement of the unidentified human remains. Now, some 9/11 families are expressing anger over the museum gift shop.
John Feal, a demolition supervisor at Ground Zero and founder of the FealGood Foundation, joined Fox and Friends this morning. Feal was at Thursday’s dedication ceremony and said it was an emotional experience.
However, he said, “Towards the end when we saw that gift shop, I was taken back and my eyes literally came out of my head like Roger Rabbit.”
Feal called the gift shop “uncalled for,” though he understands the need for the museum to have to raise funds.
On top of the $24 museum entrance fee, some of the items include a Twin Towers glass ornament for $23, a Twin Towers bookmark for $12.95, a silk scarf of World Trade Center Plaza at lunchtime for $95.00, a WTC Map and 9/11 Memorial tote bag for $20, and a search and rescue dog plush toy for $19.95.
He said it was especially “distasteful” that the gift shop was open during the days when the museum was only for family members of victims to visit.
“A lot of people are looking for closure. And going to this museum might have been that answer for them to start that healing process. And you just added salt to a wound that hasn’t closed in 13 years,” Feal said.
9/11 Memorial spokesman Michael Frazier said in a statement, “The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a nonprofit that does not yet receive any federal, state or city funding for its operations … our organization relies on private fundraising, gracious donations and revenue from ticketing and carefully selected keepsake items for retail … in fact, many of our guests from the 9/11 community have visited the shop and purchased a keepsake from their historic experience.”
Feal responded, “Over the last 13 years, we as a society dropped the ball on the issue of sensitivity to those who lost loved ones to 9/11 responders who are sick and dying. And it seems every issue pertaining to 9/11 in some sort of way, we lack sensitivity."