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Controversy over hefty ticket price for 9/11 museum

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LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) – When the 9/11 Memorial Museum opens up most likely in May, visitors will have to pay to pay their respects.

The memorial’s board of trustees set the admission price at a hefty $24.

Victim’s families, rescuers and first responders will not be charged.

Jim Riches is exempt from the fee because his son, firefighter Jimmy Riches, was killed in the attacks on the Trade Center.  But he’s furious others have to pay.

“I think it’s outrageous,” said Riches, a retired firefighter.  “It’s a museum for the rich, but not for the poor and middle class who want to be able to see it, and I think that’s not the intention of the

museum.  It’s to honor our loved ones, to let them know what happened on 9/11, the worst day in American history.”

Charles Wolf, who lost his wife Katherine that horrific day, is in favor of the fee.

“If they didn’t do it, questions would be asked  ‘why aren’t we operating this in a responsible manner financially,’ so I’m 100 percent behind it,” said Wolf..

The admission cost will help cover a significant portion of the2014 63 million dollar budget to operate the museum.  It’s based on no endowments and no federal funding.

Joe Daniels, President of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum said if the federal government does help with funding, it would allow more people to have free access.

Admission will be free for children under five, and for everyone every Tuesday night from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  There will also be discounts for certain groups including students and seniors.