|The 9/11 Memorial Museum has opened. It has been a long time since the 9/11 attacks but for myself and thousands of others the memories are still fresh and raw. It was
disappointing to learn there is a $24 dollar fee in order to get into the museum, but I guess they need the money as it costs 60 million dollars a year to operate the behemoth that no
one asked for. People wanted a simple dignified memorial and what we got was a very expensive circus.
So lets take a look at the show...I guess we should start with how the 9/11 Memorial Museum is not just a Memorial and a Museum. It is a graveyard. The unidentified remains of those
who died in the 9/11 attacks were relocated to the Museum where work will continue to identify the remains. They were brought there with an honor guard that included the NYPD, the
PAPD and FDNY...so what was missing? EMS. As you can clearly see, if you click on the video below, there was no Ambulance in the escort. No one from EMS was involved. EMS as
always is an afterthought. I am 1000% sure, since FDNY runs EMS, there could have been an ambulance if they had wanted one. ...no problem having a fire truck though.
|Well lets take a look inside the 9/11 Memorial...and as you know, if you want to go to the circus, you need to buy a ticket.
|Once you buy a ticket you get to go through your first ride...the TSA Experience. Just like at the airport you put your belongings in a bucket and go through a full airport style
screening under the watchful eye of security and the NYPD. Once you are through you head into the museum and the experience starts. Basically you work your was from the top
down. At first there are only a few "exhibits" but as you walk further down you see more and more. Until you get to the bottom level there isn't a cohesive story being told as to what
happened. Only when you reach the bottom level and walk through a glass door does the story begin. It begins on the morning of 9/11 as the attacks unfold. I found it strange that
they did not start with the rise of Al Qaeda and progress forward to the 1993 bombing before going into the 9/11 attacks.
Instead the 9/11 Museum does the reverse. It starts with the 9/11 attacks and then goes into the rise of Al Qaeda and then the 1993 WTC bombing. Along the way there is a section
about the WTC in popular culture. If found it all strange and I am not a historian or a storyteller and I have never worked in a museum, but I must say I found it all a little odd. I believe
in telling a story from beginning to end. When I was at the museum it felt as if someone had given me a history book and told me to start at chapter 5 and when I reach the end of the
book to go back and then read chapters 1 through 4. Having been to the OKC Memorial I can tell you that they do a far better job of historical storytelling as you walk through their
Now lets look at how EMS's roll in the 9/11 attacks as represented at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The truth is...it's not as bad as I thought it would be, but it is not great. The
showpiece is a burned out FDNY EMS ambulance.
|As for the rest of the items on display, there is not much. There is a private hospital trauma bag, 2 EMS helmets (one with the HHC logo on the front and one covered with duct tape.
There is a NYS EMT patch and a Paramedic patch. That is all. If you are looking for items about FDNY Firefighters there are plenty of those. There is an engine and a ladder along
with bunker gear, helmets, uniforms, equipment, photos, videos, etc. The NYPD and PAPD follow behind FDNY in terms of items on display. EMS seems to get the short end of the
stick once again, even though EMS EMT's and Paramedics Ricardo Quinn, Carlos Lillo, Keith Fairben, Yamel Merino, Richard Pearlman, Mario Santoro, Mark Schwartz, and David
Marc Sullins paid the ultimate price that day. Many other EMT's and Paramedics have suffered and died from 9/11 illnesses since then. Sadly there are more items showing EMS's
role on 9/11 on display at the FDNY EMS academy then there is at the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Here is a look at one of the display cases at the EMS academy.
|On the way out of the Museum you will find a gift shop. Not too big a deal as most Museums including the Holocaust Museum and the OKC Memorial Museum have one. They are
used to support the museum. I understand. I guess what it comes down to is a matter of taste. Items offered for sale by a museum should be tasteful and support the mission of the
museum. In this case some of the items sold at the 9/11 Memorial Museum are questionable. Here is an example.
|...yes it is a 9/11 themed cheese plate. Really. There are 3 stars on it showing the locations of NYC, Washington DC and Shanksville, PA. I am not sure who would want something
like this except maybe former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He would use it and probably enjoy some 9/11 Memorial Wine (Yes it is real and official) with his cheese and crackers.
There is also a cafe at the 9/11 Memorial Muesum.
|Normally I wouldn't have a problem with a café at a museum. Most museums have one including the U.S. Holocaust Museum. What I have a problem with is that this isn't just a
museum. It's a graveyard. Thousands of bags of human remains are stored there and a DNA lab is on site. I am not sure after seeing all that and knowing that unidentified human
remains are stored there, how you can enjoy your meal. I also found it tasteless that the 9/11 Memorial Museum held a party with food and alcohol in the Museum for VIP guests
including former Mayor Bloomberg.
Might as well have a picnic on the tomb of the unknown soldier.