'Sitting on Their Names Draws the Line': TikTok Shows Tourists Posing With 9/11 Memorial

A TikTok video showing people posing for pictures at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City has gone viral and people are angry. One of the people in the video sat on top of the memorial and smiled for a picture.

The video, posted by @backpackflipflops, has amassed more than 1.6 million views and 1,800 comments since it was posted late last month.

Joanne Hendrickson, a New York-based travel blogger, posted the footage calling out the people she saw posing happily in front of the memorial, created to honor the 2,977 people killed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"I recently saw on @influencersinthewild about pics at the Holocaust Memorial, and it reminded me of these idiots at the 9/11 Memorial," the caption of the video read.

The video starts by showing a man posing with a thumbs-up as he sat atop one of the large square pools where a tower once stood and used his foot for balance.

The clip then jumped to a woman maneuvering her camera to get the perfect angle of a man looking up at where towers once stood. A woman was also recorded posing while a man took photos of her with a selfie stick.

In the comments, Hendrickson said that all of them were chased away from the memorial "within seconds."

"But unfortunately it is so common, and so disrespectful to people trying to pay respect," she wrote.

Hendrickson told Newsweek that she has seen this behavior happening a lot at the memorial.

"I go down to the memorial 1-2 days a month to video names for relatives who are unable to [for distance or emotional reasons] visit their relative's names and ask me to film it for them," she said. "Every time I am there, there will be multiple people doing things like this."

She said the worst she has seen was the man sitting on top of the names in the video, but she has often seen parents propping their children upon the memorial.

"Oftentimes though it's people taking 'Instagramable photos' from the area with posed shots or smiling selfies," she said. "I would estimate every trip I make to the memorial, I see at least 10 people taking these types of photos within a two-hour window."

Many users in the comments said they wanted to "find the idiot" who sat on the memorial, but others said that doxing an individual for doing something stupid does not right any wrongs.

One user also commented that the man was very close to sitting on top of her cousin Ed York's name on the memorial.

"Thank you for the disrespect," the user wrote.

Another user asked in the comments why taking a photo in front of the memorial was disrespectful.

"What's wrong with taking photos but the man sitting on the names is disrespectful," the user wrote.

Another person replied to the comment saying that it isn't the picture that's the problem it's the particular way the people were posing.

"It's not to memorialize those who were lost it's acting like it's a trendy photo op," the user explained.

9/11 Memorial
A New York-based travel blogger went viral after posting a TikTok of people posing and smiling while taking pictures at the 9/11 memorial. Many in the comments were angry at the disrespect the people had and called out one man who sat on top of the memorial for a picture. Smith Collection/Getty Images

On October 29, a viral video of an influencer posing at the Holocaust Memorial was posted to TikTok and left many users disgusted with their actions. The video has amassed more than 18.4 million views and 41,800 comments.

In the video, posted by @influencersinthewild, an unidentified woman posed at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany while a man snapped photos of her.

The woman sat and posed on one of the 2,711 slabs of concrete that make up part of the memorial.

Off-camera, one person walking by can be heard saying, "I'm horrified beyond words."

Users were quick to call out the woman for being "disrespectful" and acting inappropriately at the memorial.

Updated 11/24/2021 at 4:26 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with the verified video posted by TikToker @backpackflipflops.