Photos by G.
Let’s face it, when there’s a tragedy, the city it happened in commemorates it with a museum. It’s tasteless, but it’s just a fact of life. So with that thinking, it was just a matter of time before New York built a 9/11 Museum. Curiosity got the better of me and a friend so we visited the museum on Memorial Day. What I will say is that the museum is high-tech and well laid out. There are hundreds of artifacts from the worst day in modern history on display. From horrifying photos of people jumping off the building to their death to miscellaneous items of clothing that were charred and rescued from the building collapses, even the blackest heart will probably shed a tear or two. It’s sort of strange to think that for every closeup photo you see from “ground zero,” that represents a person who whipped out a camera to capture a tragic moment instead of helping, but as we all know this is the day that changed everything!
I wasn’t living in New York on 9/11/01, and knowing what I know now from living here, reliving the events of this day seem more horrific than ever. Days like 9/11 remind you of the awesomeness of New York and how when it sucks here, it sucks more than you can even imagine. New Yorkers get a bad rap as being rude and blunt, but when tragedy strikes, seeing the community come together gives you a kernel of hope for humanity. To think of all the courageous people that risked their own lives to try and save others, the amount of people that didn’t live to tell the tale and the people that have suffered effects of the aftermath is almost too much to take. The museum will definitely give you a new appreciation for the people that were at the Trade Towers when tragedy struck and it will take your mind on a trip when you think of how many thousands of lives were permanently affected and how many of those stories were never told.
The 9/11 Museum sure does its best to take your wounds of that day, rip them right open again and throw a bunch of salt in it. From the second you’ve paid your $25 entrance fee, you have to go through airport security and it makes one wish they had a “before 9/11 airport security monitor” as well as an “after 9/11 airport security monitor” just to show the youth of what the world was like before the government decided to scare us all into submission. To think of all the hassle the world goes through to get onto an airplane now and how many times “the bad guys” have still managed to sneak weapons onto planes makes you think “Let’s have less security. We’ll take the risk!” But we don’t have a choice, do we? There’s also a ton of “America, Fuck Yeah!” propaganda peppered throughout the museum and NOT ONCE is there even the slightest mention that 9/11 “could possibly have been” an inside job. I’m not here to try and convince anyone of anything – but there is a ton of research out there that if even one out of every one hundred facts are true, it’s enough to make you question everything! If you are not questioning things, you are sheep and I ask that you please wake up OR move the hell out of my way!
The most tasteless part of the museum, of course, is the gift shop and here are 11 items you DON’T need from the 9/11 Museum gift shop.
1. A Tribute to the Dogs of 9/11. There are also doggie costumes (isn’t that animal abuse?) for sale.
2. 9/11 Coffee mugs. I don’t know about you, but I do not need to be reminded of death when I am trying to wake up in the morning.
3. Charm Bracelets. No comment needed.
4. Earrings. The commemorative trees at the bottom sort of make sense, but 9/11 earrings?!
5. 9/11 iPhone cases. Doesn’t the cover on the right look like a burnt flag to you? Yikes.
6. The scarf and plate make perfect sense to be sold in the million “I Love New York” tchotchke shops throughout the city, but in a 9/11 memorial museum, it’s very tacky.
7. 9/11 Search and Rescue stuffed animals. File this one under “creepy toys for kids.”
8. 9/11 Handbags and Scarves. Upscale and yet, TASTELESS!!!
9. 9/11 Totebags. On your daily travels these bags will remind you and everyone you run across with one of the most horrific days in recent memory. Super size it!
10. American Flag Coasters. America… FUCK YEAH!
11. Last and certainly not least – 9/11 Keychains and Lanyards.
Also for sale are coffee table books filled with horrifying photos of the 9/11 events, T-shirts galore and DVDs. Many of these other items literally baffle me that people would want them, but during our visit to the museum, people were taking selfies in front of building wreckage, so I guess we can go out on a limb and say that the world has officially been ruined and nothing is sacred anymore.
Apparently the America cheese plate has already been discontinued. Maybe there is hope for humanity?
Exit through the gift shop.