The 9/11 Memorial is the site of a massive international tragedy.
It is not a tourist attraction.
It should not be third on your list of things to do in New York.
It is not a normal thing to have on your list in between “Selfie with Naked Cowboy” and “Bakery from Cake Boss.”
Having the desire to buy a 9/11 Memorial t-shirt just so you can brag you’ve been there is a sign of poor character.
If you have a personal connection to the site, if you lost someone in the attacks or were personally impacted by the wars that sprang from them, by all means, go to the memorial. If you want to use it as an educational experience, by all means, go to the memorial. But don’t be the type of person we encounter on a daily basis who is going there just because their guidebook says it’s something to do.
If you’re telling yourself you want to go so your dollars can support the families, take out your checkbook. If that’s not as satisfying to you, that’s not why you’re going.
The 9/11 Memorial is the #1 thing that people ask NYC concierges about. Right after “Where’s check-in?” and right before “Where’s the bathroom?” comes “Where’s 9/11?” It’s one thing to want to pay respects, but people want to go there to check it off a list.
Again, it is something almost every guest asks about.
Would you want to take pictures at a death camp, mass grave, or murder site while on vacation anywhere else? Would you make it the #1 thing you wanted to see? Would you book an entire leisure vacation based on wanting to see that place? If you would, you probably would know better than to ask where to buy souvenirs or to take a “selfie” in front of it. If you wouldn’t, if the idea of gawking at tragedy does not truly appeal to who you are, maybe think about prioritizing a museum, a musical, an old neighborhood, a famous store, the firehouse from “Ghostbusters,” a bridge, a train station, a restaurant, a river, a cupcake shop, a pizza place, a fountain, a park, a statue, a building.
Don’t be the person who comes to us on 9/11 and asks us if there’s going to be a “parade.”
New York is a terrorist target because it is a singular, spectacular place to be a human being.
Don’t just see the target.
Go see what makes it a target.
And no, it does not have a fucking food court.
i automatically think less of people i see wearing 9/11 memorial merchandise and i’m not even sorry. (the exception to this rule are people like my uncle, who is FDNY and i know a lot of them have shirts relating to the ladder companies that were there that day and etc. it’s crazy to think if his shift had started earlier that day he probably wouldn’t be here right now.)
i also get this question a lot at work and the follow up is usually “and is there a nice restaurant there?” idk what’s more disturbing, the fact that that’s their priority or that they’re not even thinking about what a horrific line of questioning this might be for someone who lives here.