The tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 have left an indelible mark on the lives of Americans across the nation. With the impending completion of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan, many individuals and families look forward to paying their respect and learning more about the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Unfortunately, as with too many projects that ostensibly serve such a noble purpose, the museum has devolved into a wasteful, bloated mess. Even worse, the motives of the monsters behind this attack are reportedly being whitewashed from the experience.
According to CEO Joe Daniels, visitors – including those who want to mourn the lives lost on that fateful day – will have to pony up $24 each to even enter the museum. Demanding such a high fee sends the message to many Americans that the purpose behind the destination is not to honor those murdered by radical Muslims, but to support the exorbitant salaries of those in charge.
Peripheral facts – such as Daniels’ reported annual salary of nearly $400,000 – seem to lend credibility to those suspicions. At least four other executives will be making more than $320,000 per year, with another 11 bringing home $170,000 or more annually.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with businessmen making a healthy salary in a capitalist economy, many see these paychecks as a slap in the face of those who lost loved ones on 9/11. Perhaps even more insulting, though, is the way the museum addresses – or fails to address – those responsible for the attack.
Throughout the entire destination, including the memorial and museum, just one American flag is visible. The museum portion, built for some reason underground, pays little attention to the motives behind the deadly attack.
Outrageously, photos of the terrorists will be displayed more prominently than those of the innocent victims. This backwards approach to a memorial has led some to question who it is the museum’s developers want to honor.
Museum admission will be charged even to those who simply want to visit the memorial, making it impossible for a mourner to pay his or her tributes without parting with a substantial sum of money.
This unfortunate display stands in stark contrast to a poignant 9/11 memorial established in Israel. For many Americans – especially those living in the vicinity of the insulting museum – the tragedy of that day will only be compounded by a project that could have been a loving tribute to the lives lost at Ground Zero.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo Credit: U.S. National Archives (Creative Commons)