Because YES, a 9/11 Gift Shop

Okay, the optics REALLY:

Among the museum shop’s specially designed items:

•  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.

I could see a bookstore existing without much controversy. It’s the schmaltz that’s offensive. A silk scarf, really? That’s how you want to remember your visit to Ground Zero?

Then again, if a fraction of the outrage here was directed at the people who really cashed in on 9/11:

Rebuilding on the site in the first place was supposed to reflect how we as Americans see ourselves on our best days, resilient, unbowed, industrious, but it’s important to keep in mind what the towers symbolized in the first place. It’s the reason they were attacked, after all, the vast monoliths of grand American capitalism. What better way to memorialize that than by a store that sells useless, over-priced bobbles [sic] to people with too much disposable income, who have no need for, or really any idea why they’d want to buy any of it in the first place? Forget a tower, that right there is the American dream writ large.

Plus this horseshit has been out there for a while. At least this is officially part of the museum.


7 thoughts on “Because YES, a 9/11 Gift Shop

  1. How utterly vile.
    I was in midtown Manhattan on September 12, 2001. I saw the second plane hit. I saw both towers fall. I breathed in the black smoke for days. I saw the charred paper from countless offices falling like snow in summer.
    You want to memorialize that awful day? Fine, put up a plaque. Or a wall with the names of the dead. Or a fountain for contemplation.
    A museum? And a gift shop? Tells you what this is all really about – and it’s not reflection and remembrance, that’s for sure. Why not a theme park? With rides? The Collapsing Tower Flume Ride! The Choking Clouds of Dust Funhouse!
    I’ve never been to the site since that day, and I have no intention of ever going. I don’t know any New Yorkers who go or have any interest in going. It’s just another tourist trap.
    It could have been more.

  2. Maybe its only BS, but it is plausible BS: I heard someone on the news during the first day dedication ceremony that the admissions fee and proceeds from the gift shop go to paying for the significant amount of security required at the site (not just the museum, but the whole site).

  3. I was in NY last week–did not go anywhere near the new memorial/museum/tchotchke sales point. I DID happen to go to a memorial in Bucks County, PA to all their residents who died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. Beautifully done–a lovely park with trees and which encourages activities such as picnics and enjoying the landscape. Right next door are soccer and baseball fields and a little pavilion and also a community garden. Thus it is a remembrance of death, but with life going on around it.
    No gift shop, though.

  4. Of course, the rush to cash in on 9/11 took less than a day before the politicians started using it to promote various causes. And a simple web search (or worse, search of ebay) will show any number of items. Do we really need a Frenklin Mint plate and commemorative coin – especially as none of the profit goes anywhere other than profit?
    Of course, I get the distinction between off-site abuses and on-site abuses.

  5. Re: the Theme Park. I’ll bet the plane ride into the towers would be the most popular ride.

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