Yes, the Newly Unveiled 9/11 Memorial Actually Has a Gift Shop: ‘Crassest, Most Insensitive Thing’

Oliver Darcy

A gift shop at the newly unveiled National September 11 Memorial and Museum is stirring controversy, being denounced as “shocking and repugnant” by the families of 9/11 victims.

“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.

[sharequote align=”center”]“…the crassest, most insensitive thing to have a commercial enterprise at the place where my son died.”[/sharequote]

On Sunday, the Post published a story taking individuals “inside the 9/11 museum’s offensive gift shop.” According to the New York paper, individuals can purchase a wide variety of souvenirs when visiting the memorial. Options include jewelry, mugs and t-shirts — all emblazoned with images of the Twin Towers.

The Post detailed some of these items in further detail:

- A black and white “Darkness Hoodie” printed with an image of the Twin Towers. The pullover, like other “Darkness” items, bears the words “In Darkness We Shine Brightest.” Price: $39.

- Silk scarves printed with 1986 photos by Paula Barr, including a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. Another depicts “lunchtime on the WTC Plaza.” They go for $95 each.

- “Survivor Tree” earrings, named after a pear tree that stood in the World Trade Center plaza and survived 9/11. Made of bronze and freshwater pearls, a pair costs $64. A leaf ornament molded from the swamp white oaks at the memorial is said to change from amber to dark brown “and sometimes pink around the time of the 9/11 anniversary.”

- Heart-shaped rocks inscribed with slogans such as “United in Hope” and “Honor.” One rock bears a quote by Virgil that is emblazoned on a massive blue-tiled wall in the museum: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” It costs $39.

The gift shop sits near the location where roughly 8,000 unidentified body parts are stored in a “remains repository.”

“Here is essentially our tomb of the unknown. To sell baubles I find quite shocking and repugnant,” Horning told the Post.

“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,” she added.

The gift shop claims in a posted notice, “All net proceeds from our sales are dedicated to developing and sustaining” the museum. It adds, “Thank you for helping to build a lasting place for remembrance, reflection, and learning for years to come.”

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