9/11 museum should not be about gifts [Letter]

I wonder why America is so obsessed with the idea of peddling mementos, keepsakes and souvenirs. The newly opened museum in New York dedicated to Sept. 11 atrocities committed against our nation has a gift shop that has among its myriad items commemorative shirts, scarves and hats.

Sadly, this could only play out in America, a nation that is obviously obsessed with "keepsakes" of a macabre occurrence on a day that rocked the nation and forever changed how we go about our lives. While I understand that proceeds from the gift shop in the museum go toward victims' families, I believe it goes against the grain of what we perceive as hallowed grounds. Why is our nation so obsessed with material take-aways?

When will we learn that some painful, historic events beg to be left alone, devoid of crass commercialism? This new museum should be a daily reminder to Americans that our lives can change so drastically in a matter of seconds. The museum does not need commemorative key fobs to remind us of a harrowing passage in our nation's history.

The idea of housing a souvenir shop within a museum perplexes me. Why can't we allow something, anything to be a hallowed entity without commercialism rearing its ugly head?

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham

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