We've covered the shameful handling of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in the past few weeks, noting how VIPs actually partied at the memorial the night before the grand opening, and the interesting merchandise being sold at the museum gift shop. The fact the museum has a gift shop at all is an affront in itself - turning a tragedy into a shopping trip. But, it now seems the museum is taking a small, yet positive step by listening to customer complaints and taking at least one insensitive item for purchase off the shelves:
The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night that the museum ditched a cheese platter, in the shape of America’s 48 contiguous states, with heart symbols at spots where three hijacked planes crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.
A cheese platter? Really? I doubt any American - and especially any New Yorker - would want to remember one of the most tragic days our country has ever experienced by playing party hostess.
Hey, it took them awhile, but at least the museum recognized the item probably didn't belong in a memorial museum. As a result of the offensive merchandise, the museum has decided that it must ask permission from victims' family members who are on the foundation's board before selling souvenirs. Memorial CEO Joe Daniels weighed in on the decision:
“Once the public starts coming in, you learn so much,” Daniels said. “We in no way presume to get everything right. We will accept that criticism, absolutely.”
The removal of cheese platters doesn't excuse the fact that there are still T-shirts, caps, and even FDNY vests for dogs for sale. There's a more tactful way to remember this tragedy, but the museum has yet to figure it out.