9/11 Victim Families, Survivors Outraged by Memorial’s Gift Shop

Patrons visit the pools at The 9/11 Memorial near the World Trade Center which opened to the public Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York.
Patrons visit the pools at The 9/11 Memorial near the World Trade Center in New York.

The 9/11 Memorial has opened in New York, giving the city and the world a place to reflect on the thousands of lives lost during the 2001 terrorist attack. And to buy tchotchkes.

Survivors and family members have expressed outrage over the gift shop located on the memorial grounds, calling it “crass” and “insensitive,” according to the New York Post.

Diane Horning, who lost her son when the World Trade Center towers collapsed, told the Post the 8,000 unidentified body parts kept at the site made it a tomb, and selling FDNY mugs and shirts trivialized the location.

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

"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."

The proceeds from the shop go toward running the memorial, according to the Post. But John Feal, who runs a non-profit for 9/11 responders, told the Post that the shop should have stayed closed while family members toured the memorial.

"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."