Earlier this summer, people were appalled after bratty little kids from Junior High School 292 in East New York were kicked out of the 9/11 Museum and Memorial for throwing baseballs and trash into the reflecting pool. But it seems there's another group has been treating the memorial as their own personal "Disney attraction:" tourists.
According to the Post, first responders and victims’ families have been complaining about tourists treating the solemn memorial like Rye Playland. 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. First responder Marianne Pizzitola said she saw 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.
But not everyone is upset about the cheerful atmosphere: “I have always assumed that as time goes by, people will come there for gentle recreation — walking, sitting in the dappled sunshine, even picnicking — so I am rather surprised that anyone thinks this is not acceptable behavior,” said Kathy Bowden, who lost her brother in the attacks.
Meanwhile, the Post says there are more guards out there now policing the memorial in anticipation of of the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, to prevent scratches or damage to the monument—previously, a custodian found the words "Allah Wakbar" written on a granite seat at the memorial.