The National September 11 Memorial was built to honor and remember the 2,977 people killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centers in 2001.
Citing those statistics alone makes our stomachs drop. On the sickening tragedy of September 11th 2001, our nation was wrecked, loved one's lives were stolen, and horror immersed our city.
Replete with twin reflecting pools nearly an acre in size, plus the names of every person who died in the attacks engraved into bronze panels around the pools' edges, the 9/11 Memorial should be at once powerful, healing, and devastating.
Except for one irking thing the architects who constructed the memorial probably didn't foresee: insensitive tourists.
"I remember the photo of Robert Peraza's father," said Reddit user eire9. "It should be shown to every tourist who visits the memorial."
Now, we'd like you to consider Peraza's stance, pictured below, and compare it to the selfie-sticking tourists below that.
Something, you know, seems off.
Here's the thing, tourists. We love that you're here, that you're fueling our economy, and that you're making New York City a special, coveted place to be.
However, please don't make faces, sit on, leave trash on, or otherwise disgrace our sacred mourning space. We can reluctantly sacrifice Times Square to tourism and debauchery, we'll even forfeit parts of Central Park to selfie sticking and Instagramming.
We cannot and will not relinquish the 9/11 Memorial. We just can't.
Here's what you need to understand about the 9/11 Memorial. Its waterfalls are enormous, the biggest manmade waterfalls in the United States. They're immense, because they tragedy they're representing was immense.
The Memorial was built to honor those lives who were taken, the families who suffered in its enormous aftermath, and the rescue aid workers who sacrificed their lives in their complete dedication to the people they tried to save.
Smiling selfie-taking beside the panels engraved with our deceased love ones' names completely denigrates the Memorial's purpose.
There is a sign that designates the memorials "rules of conduct" upon entry at the museum. The sign reads: "Please be reminded that the 9/11 Memorial is a place of remembrance and quiet reflection. Visitors should exercise proper decorum, personal behavior, and conduct at all times."
The fact that such a sign even needed to be erected is unfortunate, but what's worse is that its plea is certainly not being abided.
Tourists, can you start behaving with a modicum of decorum while you're at the 9/11 Memorial, please? All we're asking is for you to respect the 9/11 Memorial. It's all we're asking.