“We decided that it’s more fiscally prudent to have a straight ticket charge,” Daniels said.
Debra Burlingame, a foundation board member whose brother was the pilot of one of the hijacked planes, said the trade center site is expensive to build on and to protect.
“The World Trade Center site remains a target of interest among terrorists, so the security has to be robust and relentless,” Burlingame said in a phone interview. “There’s a big price tag on that.
“Would we like to be able to say this is free? Absolutely,” Burlingame added. But she called it “irresponsible to hope that year after year we have donations that will cover an expense like security.”
Some visitors to the memorial were divided about charging admission to the museum.
Retired school psychologist Valerie Cericola of Lavalette, N.J., said the entry fee sounded fair.
“You need to keep it open, you need to keep it running,” she said. “It’s an expense.
But Jennifer Reyes, a friend of Cericola’s daughter who has a connection to the trade center site because she was born on Sept. 11, 2001, said the museum should ask for an optional donation.
“I think a donation like $10 would be good,” Jennifer said.