By Tim Young
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
A couple of years ago, I visited Cambodia on vacation and my tour guide suggested that we go to the ‘Killing Fields,’ a popular tourist spot in the county. If you aren’t familiar with this landmark, it’s where masses of Cambodians were killed and buried not too long ago by the communist Khmer Rouge regime.
I first thought to myself, why would I want to see a mass grave, then I figured it was a worldwide tragedy and like the holocaust, should never be forgotten… I should go. The tour guide went on to say that the fields had been sold to a Japanese who now charges $3 to get in and that, “if we’re lucky,” we’ll see some skulls and remains of Cambodians who were slaughtered.
Three things immediately struck me: First, these people were slaughtered because of their education or potential threat to the communist regime. Their lives and bodies had already been disrespected enough. Who am I as a tourist to want to see some of the awesome skulls of horribly mistreated and murdered people?
Second, why the hell did the government sell off a national burial ground where 1.7 million of its people lay?
And Third, why would I want to pay $3 to disrespect the already disrespected graves of people?
It’s just horrifying to me that someone would want to profit off of the dead, off what should be a memorial to a nation’s greatest modern tragedy?
Thank God we would never think to do something like this in America… wait how much are they charging to get into the 9/11 museum at Ground Zero in New York?
Opening on May 21, the 9/11 Memorial Museum is exactly what it says it is, a memorial to 9/11, complete with the names of the heroes and the lost, relics and everything you, as a mourning American would want to see to never forget that horrible tragedy and one of the darkest days in American History….
According to the museum’s site: “The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.
The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.
The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.”
Except, you ain’t gettin’ in unless you’re shelling out $24.
Now, to be fair, it’s free if you’re a direct family member of one of those who passed that day or one of the rescue or recovery workers who were involved in the tragedy, but I can hear the conversation at the ticket booth now: “Oh I’m sorry ma’am, do you have proof that you’re actually the wife to this 9/11 victim? Yeah, we’re going to need more than just your last name, people have been pulling that trick to get in here all week… You don’t then…. ohhhh sorry, that’s going to be $24.”
There are also student, youth and senior citizen discounts, but the lowest they go is $15… $15 to remember the most tragic day in modern American history. They also have FREE ADMISSION TUESDAYS!!!! When everyone can get in on Tuesday nights (the slow night if you’re doing market research) from 5-8PM. That’s just like when the National Aquarium in Baltimore has Fridays after 5 for just $5!!!
And in case you’re wondering according to the site, Opening Day, which is sponsored by Condé Nast is “SOLD OUT.”
So what’s it worth to you America? To me, if I’m not willing to walk over the mass grave of another countries slaughtered souls for $3, I’m definitely not paying $24 to walk on the graves of my fellow Americans.
I can remember that day in my heart and from the street view. I don’t need to pad the pockets of someone to get in.
To me, this is a disrespectful, disgraceful, and disgusting way to dishonor those lost in this horrible moment in our history… by charging $24 to get in… and making a killing from a killing.
I wonder what admission to the mosque around the corner is going to be?
Known as the Republican Jon Stewart and the Young Rush Limbaugh, Young has been a guest on Fox News Channel’s ‘Red Eye,’ Huffington Post Live, RT’s The Alyona Show and dozens of syndicated radio shows.
A respected journalist and pundit, sharing his opinion on politics to millions of people every month. His writing has been featured on the cover of HuffingtonPost.com, Washingtonian Magazine, Patch.com, Voice of Baltimore and other major publications. In 2011, he was Young Member Chair of the National Press Club, representing all media under the age of 35.