Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Flight 93 Memorial

While this entry doesn't directly pertain to Northern Virginia, it indicates that the blogsosphere gets a bit of attention in the mainstream media.

As published in Blogwatch, in the December 12, 2005 edition of Time Magazine:
"When the Sept. 11 memorial design was unveiled this fall for Flight 93's crash site in Pennsylvania, LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS and other conservatives decried it as a 'monumental insult,' largely because the crescent of red maple trees resembled an Islamic prayer station, pointing toward Mecca. Some critics tipped their hats last week at the bowl-shaped redesign, above, until ERROR THEORY pointed out that the 'Islamo-fascist shrine ... still contains all of the features that made it a terrorist memorial.; One element that was retained: the flight path lined with 44 translucent blocks, one for each person who died in the crash--including the four hijackers."
Last summer, Michelle Malkin had this to say about the original design for the Flight 93 Memorial, The Crescent of Embrace:
"...These were Americans who refused to sit down and be quiet and allow Islamic terrorists unfettered control over the flight stick of history. These were doers, not hand-wringers, who engaged in a violent and valiant struggle against evil.

"I remind you of all this because the official Flight 93 memorial unveiled last week is now embroiled in overdue public controversy. Funded with a mix of public money and private cash (including a $500,000 grant from Teresa Heinz's far-left Heinz Endowments), the winning design, titled the 'Crescent of Embrace,' features a grove of maple trees ringing the crash site in the shape of an unmistakable red crescent. The crescent, New York University Middle East Studies professor Bernard Haykel told the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune-Democrat, 'is the symbol of ritual and religious life for Muslims.'

"Some design contest jury members reportedly raised concerns about the jarring symbol of the hijackers' faith implanted on the hallowed ground where the passengers of Flight 93 were murdered. But their recommendations to change the name of the memorial (to 'Arc of Embrace,' or some such whitewashing) were ignored. Memorial architect Paul Murdoch, whose firm emphasizes 'environmental responsibility and sustainability," did not return calls and e-mails seeking comment, but he did emphasize to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that his creation was about 'healing' and 'contemplation.' He is also proud of his idea to hang a bunch of wind chimes in a tall tower at the site as a 'gesture of healing and bonding.'

"Wind chimes? Hey, why not add pinwheels and smiley face stickers and Care Bears while we're at it, too?

"Let's set aside the utter boneheaded-ness of using a symbol that, inadvertently or not, commemorates the killers' faith instead of the victims' revolt. The soft-and-fuzzy memorial design of 'Crescent of Embrace' still does injustice to the steely courage of Flight 93's passengers and crew. It evokes the defeatism embodied by those behind a similar move to turn the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero in New York City into a pacifist guilt complex.

"This is no way to fight a war. Or to remember those who have died fighting it.

"A proper war memorial stirs to anger and action. We all remember passenger Todd Beamer's last heard words as he and his fellow Americans prepared to take back the plane from al Qaeda's killers, don't we?

"No, the phrase wasn't 'Let's meditate.' It was 'Let's roll.'"
The name for the redesigned Flight 93 Memorial is Sacred Ground, but some of the elements of the first design remain the same. Error Theory has extensive analysis of the latest design and proclaims it "an Islamo-fascist shrine."

Update (Sunday, December 11, 7:40 P.M., EST): According to an email received from someone who has read this blog article, the memorial's architect claims that most of Error Theory's points are not part of the new design. However, the original design was as Malkin explicated.

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