Some first responders angered by 9/11 museum fee

Only family members of victims would avoid fees

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A first responder now living in Florida is refusing to enter New York City's soon to be completed 9/11 museum because he may have to pay to get inside.

"Unless you were there when it happened, there's nothing like it," said Mark Harris, who was on duty as a New York City Fire Department paramedic. He lives in Palm Beach County now and has been watching from afar as the $700 million 9/11 Memorial Museum project continues toward completion.

But this first responder - a survivor - says he will not set foot in the museum because he will have to pay to do so.

"You're going to tell me that we have to spend twenty five dollars to go see something that we lived through?" said Harris.

Harris is among a number of first responders who say the anticipated $20 to $25 admission is 'a disgrace'. "It's a slap in the face," he said.

Family members of 9/11 victims do not have to pay, according to museum officials. The memorial outside the museum will remain free of charge to all as well.

"There is a definite list of who was there that day and who wasn't there that day," said Harris. "And anybody who was there that day was there to save lives."

"Everybody has to pay?" he asked. "Well, we paid enough. We paid enough."

The exact admission charge has yet to be established. The revenue raised will help cover operating costs of that museum and memorial, which are said to be about $60 million per year. The museum is expected to open in the spring of next year.
 

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