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September 11 Memorial Museum opens, with mixed feelings over its gift shop

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 01:27

May 21 - The National September 11 Memorial Museum opens to the public amid conflicting feelings surrounding its gift shop, which some say sells overpriced items that are in poor taste, and which others say is necessary. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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A somber flag ceremony marked the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City on Wednesday. The museum displays a wide range of artifacts from the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001. But it's the gift shop of the museum that is causing controversy. Some, like Helen Hatfield, think it's unfair to sell memorabilia at the site of such a great tragedy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HELEN HATFIELD, 9/11 MEMORIAL VISITOR, ALSO FROM TEXAS, SAYING: "I don't think it's a good idea for people to make money off the memorial. It's a tribute to the people who were killed here. And I just think that would cheapen the value of the memorial as a whole. And we want to think about the people, not about souvenirs or making money or anything like that." Others take issue with the price tag of some items, like a wool scarf for 95 dollars or a plush toy dog for 19.95. But museum organizers say the gift shop is necessary to fund the maintenance of the museum. Lisa Berge, whose friend died on 9/11, says she doesn't have a problem with it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LISA BERGE, WHOSE FRIEND KEVIN CLEARY DIED DURING THE 9/11 WTC ATTACK, SAYING: "If it's to support the museum, I think it's excellent. Anything to keep the memory alive of everyone who lost their lives." The museum, which has been eight years in the making, is now open to the public.

September 11 Memorial Museum opens, with mixed feelings over its gift shop

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 01:27

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