How Much is Too Much?

As the ten-year anniversary of September 11th quickly approaches, many Americans are beginning to prepare for the remembrance of the lives that were lost on that day. All across the country, people are buying extra American flags to place in their windows, commemorative pins, banners, posters, and even coin sets. And that is exactly what marketers want them to do.

NYCWebstore.com boasts an impressive display of 9/11 commemorative goods from Twin Tower ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree with care, to memorial umbrellas, to FDNY and NYPD shot glasses. Although some of the profits from these “limited edition” items do go towards The FDNY Foundation, we are not told exactly how much.  None the less, at least our conscience can be comforted knowing some part of our consumer spending is for the greater good. However, unfortunately we cannot say the same for all products.

What better way to remember than through the unique 9/11 Commemorative Coin Certificate? But if a coin-certificate doesn’t tickle your fancy, fear not for the National Collector’s Mint has a variety of coins to choose from including a brand new coin rolled out to honor the 10th anniversary. Now only $29.95 can help you “pay homage to America’s heroes and remember the day that changed America forever… order today!” 

 We do not mean to make light of 9/11. For many of us, this marks an extremely important day in our country’s history and is a day that we will not soon forget. However, when is too much? When does our need for consumption begin to take over so much that we need to have teddy bears, snow globes, and necklaces to help us “remember our heroes”?

– Jessica Kingman, Alaethea Hensley, Lauren Phelps

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5 thoughts on “How Much is Too Much?

  1. It is sad how much consumerism has taken over. It seems like the tragedy of 9/11 has simply become another “holiday” that will be strategically marketed to make a profit. Just look at other holidays– what would Christmas be without trees, tacky decorations, and millions of dollars spent on unnecessary junk that usually ends up in the trash before the next holiday rolls around. Easter without an Easter Bunny? No way! Then businesses wouldn’t have an excuse to market candy, toys, and games for parents to fill the baskets that our dear friend the Easter Bunny left. If we can sift past the garbage we will see the true meanings of these special days. For 9/11, I can only hope that people will stop and pay attention to what really matters–remembering those lives that were lost and the families left behind…not buying a worthless Commemorative Coin Certificate.

    • Good point, I feel the same way about consumerism in the US. It has been overwhelming for years and getting worse for the past 11 years. It’s a shame that there are still so many people being manipulated easily by the marketing frenzy which sells a lot of unnecessary stuff behind the story “to honor 9/11”. Actually, I really hope the media will bring this theme up in their articles–how to commemorate 9/11 in a senseful way.

  2. I for one would never discourage someone from making a profit in any venture they choose, assuming that they are not hurting any one or taking advantage of those unable to distinguish right from wrong. I agree that a commemorative coin certificate is not the best way to remember what happened that day and those lives that were lost. At the same time who am I to tell anyone else what is best when it comes to showing their support. If buying this, or any other related propaganda causes even one American to feel like they have made a difference I say congratulations to them and thank you for your donation- however small the percentage of profits donated may be. Further more if I can be the one turning a profit by helping these Americans remember that would be even better.

    One thing I always like to remind folks of in conversations similar to this one is that no one has, or can force any one to buy anything. Consumers choose to make their own purchases.

  3. I agree with the above comment.

    9/11 is quickly becoming another branded holiday, soon it will be commercialized just as much as Christmas or Easter. Businesses are capitalizing on consumers by using phrases such as “remember our heroes” or “10th anniversary.”

    What consumers need to “remember,” is that 9/11 was a tragic event – at the rate businesses are going, generations from now will attach the same meaning to 9/11 as some do to Labor Day or Valentine’s. Just another day to buy and exchange candy, cards or have a day off work.

    We should, as a society, be able to attach the sentiment of memory to 9/11.. without having to purchase silly things like a commemorative coin certificate.

  4. Very good point. This is something that I didn’t realize until I read this blog post, but it make total sense. Consumerism is almost making a mockery out of 9/11 by saying that we need to buy these things to “remember.” It’s actually quite rude in my opinion. People can remember by paying RESPECT to those who died, and not money to buy senseless commodities.

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