The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

September 11, 2012

Our View: Too high a price

We can all agree that the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, continue to carry a price that can never be repaid. Not through revenge, apology or even 11 years of war.

This is a day where thousand of innocent lives were lost. But from the atrocities rose the heroes, the leaders, the men and women who were there to hold us while we cried and began the process of healing.

But in our efforts to remember the day and revere the brave and courageous, we are creating an unsustainable financial burden.

The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center could cost as much as $60 million a year to operate. The foundation that runs the memorial says government help will be needed to pay all the bills. In fact, the American public has been asked to pick up a third of the operating costs.

The federal government, or should we say the taxpayers, has already spent $300 million on the $700 million project. It has been proposed that the National Park Service contribute $20 million per year. William Shaddox, with the National Park Service, has testified that $20 million is more than the entire annual appropriation for nearly 99 percent of the parks in its system. To put it into perspective, consider that it takes $8.4 million a year to operative Gettysburg National Military Park and $3.6 million a year for the monument that includes the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

The attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon 11 years ago today will never be forgotten. But its memory should not come with an added burden on the federal budget.

If the 9/11 memorial and museum wounds America rather than heals it, then what good does it do?

Congress should walk away from these outrageous funding proposals. The extravagance proposed by the foundation is an affront to those who died and those who live with the memory of Sept. 11.

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