9/11 Families Criticize New Ground Zero Memorial Museum

Image: 9/11 Families Criticize New Ground Zero Memorial Museum A rendition of Ground Zero is seen on Jan. 24 at the September 11 Memorial Museum in New York.

Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 06:57 AM

By Elliot Jager

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The decision by the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center to charge a $24 admission fee when it opens in May has unleashed criticism from a conservative activist and some family members about the way the way the memorial is conceived, staffed and managed.

Writing in Breitbart, Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative took to task the museum's President & CEO Joseph Daniels for taking a nearly $400,000 annual salary. Geller wrote that the museum was top-heavy with "obscenely" overpaid "leftist executives."

The museum "was never intended to be a revenue-generating tourist attraction with a prohibitive budget and entrance fee," she wrote.

Relatives of Sept. 11 victims will not be charged for visiting the site, and the memorial will be open free of charge to everyone Tuesday evenings for three hours, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The museum receives no government funding.

Geller further criticized the way the museum contextualizes the 9/11 attacks, arguing that there is nothing "that addresses the ideology behind the attack."

She writes that visitors will see no exhibits drawing a connection between the attacks and the fact that they were carried out in the name of an Islamist holy war against the West.

American flags are not prominently on display, she wrote.
Most egregious, photographs of the hijackers "are more prominently displayed than the pictures of some of the victims," she wrote.

She also disapproves that the museum is subterranean. Geller would have wanted it to be situated at street level.

Geller brought together family members of 9/11 victims, including Nelly Braginsky, Valentina Lygina, and Sally Regenhard for a press conference at the site.

Braginsky lost her son Alec; Lygina her son Alexander, and Regenhard, her son Christian. All three mothers agreed that charging admission was wrong.

Regenhard's group, 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims, while opposing government funding for the site is also against the "outrageous" salaries of its managers, and its "bloated" $63 million budget.

"Unfortunately, there is no fiscal responsibility or accountability at this site," according to Regenhard.

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