Tourists treating 9/11 Memorial like a playground
They’re treating it like a national playground.
At the National September 11th Memorial, tourists balance coffee cups and soda bottles on the parapets bearing the names of the dead.
Parents hoist their children to sit on the bronze plaques, while other visitors splash water from the two waterfalls onto their faces to cool themselves on a hot summer day.
On the plaza, tourists break out lunch foods and lie on their backs.
A year after the memorial’s opening, the almost-cheerful atmosphere at what was supposed to be a solemn site has appalled first responders and victims’ families.
Some have compared the $700 million memorial to a “Disney attraction,” down to the weaving lines to get in.
One tourist “spilt coffee all over my son’s name . . . after she arose from sitting on the names,” a relative wrote to Bill Doyle of the Coalition of 9/11 Families.
When first responder Marianne Pizzitola visited, she found people acting “like this was a park or playground.”
“People laughed and took pictures smiling, and so many people leaned on the tablets with all of my friends names engraved in them, holding Starbucks cups, like it was a kitchen table,” Pizzitola, head of the FDNY EMS Retirees Association, wrote in a letter to Memorial President Joe Daniels.
Last week, The Post observed guards circling the two pools and prohibiting visitors from leaning on the ledges or resting their bags against engraved names.
Two guards said the crackdown was new, a directive issued because of the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, to prevent scratches or damage to the monument.
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