When it comes to tragedy, there’s a thin line between solemn commemoration and crass commercialization.
Actually, it’s often not very thin, and it’s crossed all the time.
The New York Post recently reported that relatives of 9/11 victims are outraged that the National September 11 Memorial Museum will be home to a gift shop that peddles T-shirts, mugs, and rescue dog vests, as well as books and other educational material relating to the deadly terrorist attack.
“To me, it’s the crassest, most insensitive thing to have a commercial enterprise at the place where my son died,” the mother of one victim told the Post.
The visceral response of a parent who will always feel the agony of loss is understandable. But as a ThinkProgress article points out, museums dedicated to all sorts of tragedies — from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum to the Oklahoma City Museum, which commemorates a domestic terrorist attack — have gift shops.
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