9/11 Cheese Platter Nixed From 9/11 Museum Gift Shop, And With Good Reason
Much has been said about the National September 11 Memorial Museum gift shop, where you can buy items that range from memorial umbrellas and Survivor Tree mouse pads to Brooks Brothers ties and graphic-print silk scarves. Although most of the poorly thought-out products are still available, museum officials are removing several items from the 9/11 gift shop. The first item to go is an oversized cheese plate in the shape of the United States.
After opening to the public in late May, the 9/11 Museum has received more criticism than praise from victims' families, who find the presence of a commercial store at a memorial and gravesite crass and offensive. In response, Joe Daniels, president of the 9/11 memorial foundation, announced all gift shop items will now be vetted by family members of the victims.
"The space matters," Daniels told The Wall Street Journal. "We have to remember that the sensitivity around 9/11 is so high."
The removal of some of the shop's most absurd items may placate the families of the victims. However, many family members would rather see the entire gift shop gone — especially those whose relatives rest in the tomb beneath Ground Zero. “To sell baubles [at the memorial] I find quite shocking and repugnant,” Diane Horning, whose son died in the attacks, told The New York Post. "It’s a money-making venture to support inflated salaries, and they’re willing to do it over my son’s dead body."
According to the museum's website, the proceeds from the gift store are "dedicated to developing and sustaining" the 9/11 museum and memorial.
Although there's no word yet on which 9/11-themed items are on their way out, the United States-shaped ceramic platter is no longer on the gift shop's shelves. But there are certainly a few other items that deserve the boot. The Memorial Pool & Lights iPhone case, for instance, is one of the store's most ill-conceived products — is it really worth turning tragedy into decoration for your iPhone?
While the specially designed "I <3 New York" T-shirts aren't too shocking, some of the fashion apparel seem like money-making ploys, including the Brooks Brothers 10th Anniversary 9/11 Tie for boys.
Many critics of the 9/11 museum gift shop have pointed out the crass $95 silk scarves designed with iconic images of the Twin Towers and the World Trade Center Plaza. There's also a $95 wool scarf that has absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 or the World Trade Center, except for the fact that it was made exclusively for the 9/11 memorial.
But perhaps the item that needs to go the most is not the plush search-and-rescue dog — though that's on the list — but the perfect-for-grocery-shopping tote bag.
Images: 9/11 Museum Store