9/11 Memorial fees spark confusion and controversy

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-14 23:07:28-04

NEW YORK (PIX11)- Visitors to the 9/11 memorial who make a reservation by phone or online now have to pay a two dollar fee for their pass.

The reservation system was in place even before the memorial opened to the public on the tenth anniversary of the attacks.  There was never a cost for the service until last month.

“Just like you visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, no charge for the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial in D.C., it just stings of improper.”

Michael Burke, whose firefighter brother was killed on September 11th, first learned about the fee today from us.

He and other family members are angry that people have to pay to pay their respects, “It just not has been a process where people put all the memory and honor first, It’s been politics, how does this work for me, and now were charging two dollars for something that America and the world is coming to see, and really should not be charged for.”

Charles Wolf’s wife Kathryn was among the 9/11 dead.  He says adding the fee was necessary because of delays caused by among other things, hurricane sandy.  It dumped water into the 9/11 museum which is still under construction.

“The memorial people have to pay to lease this advance reservation system, and they have to cover the costs that strung out much longer than anticipated. They are being responsible for the memorial.  They want to keep everything looking good and they can’t go taking things from one area to pay for another.”

Once certain construction projects are finished, the reservation system will no longer exist.