Well this just pissed me off something fierce.
There was a lot of fanfare this week here in New York about the grand opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, as there should’ve been.
Thirteen years after the attack (and isn’t that just amazing that it’s been that long?), the memorial museum is finally ready to open, and from media reports I’ve read, it sounds spectacular.
But never, not for one second, should anyone who visits, or who manages, the museum forget that it’s built on sacred ground, and that there are still bodies and body parts buried underground there. It’s a special place, a place where so many suffered, and it should be treated with ultimate respect.
Which is why this was pretty disgusting: A VIP-only party was held to “celebrate” the opening of the museum on Tuesday night, featuring ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg and sponsored by Conde Nast. Actual first-responders to 9/11 were turned away from the event, this N.Y. Daily News story reports, and the best part?
The Information Desk on the museum’s lower level was converted into a bar for the night, an employee told the Daily News.
Just disgraceful. You want to have a grand opening party and get drunk and have all kinds of wonderful hors d’ouerves? Fine. Do it down the block, or at any one of 1,000,000 great restaurants in Manhattan.
But people are buried under there! Have some friggin’ respect.
As a palatte cleanser to that disgustingness, here’s a fantastic story from Steve Kandell, whose sister was killed when the World Trade Center was bombed. Kandell went to the museum as part of a special tour for victims’ families last week, and he wrote a beautiful, haunting tale. My favorite paragraph:
I think now of every war memorial I ever yawned through on a class trip, how someone else’s past horror was my vacant diversion and maybe I learned something but I didn’t feel anything. Everyone should have a museum dedicated to the worst day of their life and be forced to attend it with a bunch of tourists from Denmark.
Annotated divorce papers blown up and mounted, interactive exhibits detailing how your mom’s last round of chemo didn’t take, souvenir T-shirts emblazoned with your best friend’s last words before the car crash. And you should have to see for yourself how little your pain matters to a family of five who need to get some food before the kids melt down. Or maybe worse, watch it be co-opted by people who want, for whatever reason, to feel that connection so acutely.
It’s really a great piece, one that those morons who decided alcohol at the museum grand opening party ought to read.
**Next up, I totally wish I had seen this video when I was struggling with math in high school. It sounds impossible, but this guy shows you how to multiply big numbers just by drawing lines on a piece of paper.
I know, it sounds nuts. But watch and you’ll be kinda amazed like I was.
**Finally today, I saw this on Facebook Wednesday and it made me laugh really hard.
Apparently this was a real note that a woman left her husband in the front of the house recently. Just fantastic: