9/11 Museum Gift Shop Stirs Anger

Image: 9/11 Museum Gift Shop Stirs Anger (Getty Images)

Sunday, 18 May 2014 06:22 PM

By Greg Richter

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A gift shop in the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City has angered some family members and others, who say it cheapens the tragedy of what happened that day.

"To me, it’s the crassest, most insensitive thing to have a commercial enterprise at the place where my son died," Diane Horning told the New York Post. She and her husband, Kurt, never received the remains of their 26-year-old son Matthew, who died in the attack.

About 8,000 unidentified human remains are stored at the museum, making it a burial crypt of the missing.

"Here is essentially our tomb of the unknown. To sell baubles I find quite shocking and repugnant," she told the Post. Horning said she also objects to a cafe at the museum.

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"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," Horning said.

Ground Zero demolition supervisor John Feal runs the FealGood Foundation for sick 9/11 responders. While he doesn't object to the concept of a gift shop, he believes it shouldn't have been opened until Wednesday when the general public will first be allowed inside.

"These people are suffering, and they don’t need to be reaching into their pockets," Feal said. "The museum could have gone six days without asking for money."

The gift shop offers T-shirts, caps, jewelry, and other items, that also can be purchased on the museum's website.

All net proceeds are dedicated to "developing and sustaining" the museum, a notice at the store states. "Thank you for helping to build a lasting place for remembrance, reflection, and learning for years to come."

The Post notes that a plaque says that the gift shop was made possible by a gift from Paul Napoli and Marc Bern. The two are partners in a law firm that received $200 million in fees and expenses when it sued New York City for 10,000 Ground Zero workers. The gift shop received $5 million of that as a donation, the Post said.

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