Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shocking: memory of 9/11 victims is wasted

By guest columnist Cleland Thom
The 9/11 Memorial Museum hadn’t opened when I was in New York earlier this year.

Good thing too. The gift shop was enough for me. Surely the lives of 3,000 people are worth more than souvenir notebooks, key rings and fluffy toy rescue dogs?

The same with the 9/11 memorial. Or was it a giant urinal? It tries too hard.

London’s Princess Diana memorial is the same. A decent foot spa if you need one. But it doesn’t even begin to reflect Diana’s life. It shouldn’t even try to.

Some tragedies can’t be captured with material objects. That’s why a rough memorial stone, hewn from granite, is enough. The stark simplicity says what needs to be said, and leaves the rest to the individual.

But I guess rough memorial stones don’t make money.

And making money is one aspect of the American way of life that Bin Laden didn’t destroy on the site of the twin towers.

Cleland Thom is director of CTJT, who provide online journalism courses

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