Why buy a magnet to remember history instead of teaching it?


For the third year in a row, I visited New York and got to see some incredible sights and eat some really expensive food. However, I did leave a bit disappointed.

The first thing we did was visit the September 11 Memorial. It’s pretty interesting how they incorporated the exact location of the towers when they built the two commemorative pools that list the names of the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day.

If you haven’t seen them in person, it is impossible to see the very bottom when you stand at the edge of the pools, and the design really emphasizes the somber feel of the site.

The only thing I have a problem with is the cost to walk through the museum commemorating 9/11. I’ve seen pictures and read reviews that have praised the exhibit that is located on the actual bedrock of the World Trade Center buildings, and hoped to finally see it for myself.

Until I saw the price of admission.

For an adult it’s $24, and for a student like me, it was still $18. A friend of mine suggested that because of backlash over the gift shop in the museum, they may have raised admission prices to accommodate for scaling back on souvenirs.

Now, I had just visited Washington this past summer and couldn’t believe that there was a gift shop at the National Holocaust Museum. Does anybody seriously want to walk around with a shirt that says “National Holocaust Museum” on it?

Or have a magnet on their fridge from the museum? Not exactly an ideal conversation starter in my book.

The museum is an incredible display of one of the saddest and most tragic events in our history, and I don’t need a magnet to remember it by. I understand that these places need to have funding to operate, but it still doesn’t seem right to me.

For many people, especially those in my generation, 9/11 is like our Pearl Harbor. I can still remember the exact location in my elementary school’s gymnasium where I sat and waited to be picked up by my mom because school had ended early, and I was only 5 years old.

It’s had an incredible impact on the way Americans live today and on security around the world. I think that it’s important that people who visit the memorial are able to see with their own eyes evidence of the horror of that day and recognize its significance.

Yes, I’m a poor college student who doesn’t have $18 to spend on a 45-minute trip through a museum, so this may be a little biased, but it’s the principle of the situation.

I’m not an expert, so this may sound incredibly ignorant, but I don’t see why the Smithsonians and the Holocaust Museum are able to accommodate thousands of guests each day with free admission and the 9/11 museum is outrageously expensive.

The Smithsonians receive 70 percent of their funding from the government and fill in the gap with donations, so maybe somehow the price of admission to the 9/11 museum can be greatly reduced someday.

Hopefully this will allow the museum to leave the same effect on those too young to have experienced 9/11 as the National Holocaust Museum left on me.


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