While walk-up visitors can still see the 9/11 Memorial free, people booking tickets in advance have to pay a $2 dollar fee, which was quietly instituted on March 1. The change has upset some September 11 victims’ families who — despite being exempt from the fee — are angry that the foundation is making it more difficult for others to visit. “I think it’s an outrage. I mean, people are coming down there to pay their respects to the people that died that day. They shouldn’t have to pay, you can’t charge to get into a cemetery and I think they’re making this a revenue-generating tourist attraction,” said Jim Riches, whose firefighter son died at the World Trade Center.
Sally Regenhard, whose son also died in the attacks, also lamented the “lack of reverence” and “the commercialization, the tourist trap type of atmosphere” of the memorial. Joe Daniels, the head of the 9/11 Memorial foundation, explained that the money is needed “to help support the operational needs” of the site, and that the charge will end when construction is completed and reservations are no longer necessary. However, as the New York Post points out, there will likely be “a $20 mandatory admission or a $25 suggested donation” to enter the 9/11 Museum, assuming it ever opens.