Dave Stancliff Call Me Crazy, But I Can’t See Building Memorials to Death and Wars blogarama.com

Friday, May 23, 2014

Call Me Crazy, But I Can’t See Building Memorials to Death and Wars

Image: 9/11 Memorial Museum Preview - New York City Good Day World!

 I confess.

I never believed it was a good idea to build memorials dedicated to tragedies and wars. Call me unpatriotic, or whatever you want.

I just can’t see pouring millions of dollars into a shrine for death or war. There’s plenty of books and movies that remind us of those wars and tragic events, so no one is going to forget about them.

Memorial building is an enterprise worthy of being listed on the stock market.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum opened this week to outrage among some victims' families over a gift shop at the site and a black-tie reception held close to the unidentified remains of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

And more controversy has erupted with news that a restaurant is opening soon inside the museum offering “an array of local, seasonal fare in a relaxing and comfortable environment,” according to the museum guide.

From top to bottom, people are employed, some making a career out of memorial shrines kitsch. There’s some coffee mugs and stationary with 9/11 printed on them at the new museum. Manufacturers make a mint out of memorials.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, like the New York site, receives no federal, state or local funds. That’s a good thing. The fact that they have to run them like businesses is not lost on me. It’s an expensive proposition.

Between 60 and 70 percent of the museum's annual operating cost of about $60 million will come from revenue generated from the gift shop and the museum's admission fee. People are making money building memorials and maintaining them, don’t kid yourself.

Sometimes taxpayers end up funding memorials like the Holocaust Museum. It receives federal funding of $52 million a year. The rest of the $87.6 million operating budget comes from private donations and investment income.

I’m really against using tax payer money to make these memorials and to maintain them. Why do we have to make such a fuss over death and war?

How about a memorial to love instead? Perhaps there’s some other positive things worth remembering.

Whatever they are, keep them privately funded, and don’t use tax-payer monies to do it. Now, there’s a thought.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

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