Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Crescent of Embrace 2

While we're all pondering the Mumbai bombings, here's a subject we may have forgotten.Error Theory notes that comment time for the Flight 93 memorial has begun. "The Flight 93 Memorial Project has opened up a comment period (through August 14th) on whether it should proceed with its plan to build a slightly modified version of the original Crescent of Embrace design, or start over by adopting a No Action alternative. Starting over is imperative because the Crescent design was, and still is, a plan to build the world’s largest mosque." Is this still true?

It was true of the old design. The old Crescent of Embrace plan was extensively discussed on the Internet. It consisted of a stand of trees planted in a crescent oriented toward Mecca which when in bloom would have been the color red.


Current plans are described at the Flight 93 memorial site. Two renderings for the new design are shown. The old crescent is now simply called the Bowl. However, there are two versions shown. The first shows the Bowl with a different orientation from the old Crescent of Embrace. As can be seen from the figure below, the opening of the Bowl is oriented considerably differently from the direction of Mecca. This is arguably different from the old Crescent of Embrace.


However, the other rendering on the plan gives a different impression. We are back, more or less, to a Bowl oriented toward Mecca. Other than the fact that it is Green, we are back, essentially to the architectural elements of the old Crescent of Embrace. Perhaps it was just a drafting error. This is one of the things which might be suitable for clarification in comments.


Blogger Doug said...

Radical mosques are being built across the United States at an alarming rate, all tethered to a fanatical strain of Islam emanating from Saudi Arabia.

7/11/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I've said it before, but it bears repeating again and again:
Steve Emerson's Video
"Jihad in America"
said all we need to know about what must be done if we are serious about Islamic Terror.
Obviously we are not yet, nor does this president seem serious about many issues critical to our National Security.
Something reminded me recently of one of the first leaks:
The publishing of where Cheney went when we were under attack.
...just like now, when they HAVE to tell us exactly where Dick and Rummy live.
Because they can.
...and only Libby pays any price.
Weakness is indeed provocative.

7/11/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Emerson's Video was made more than a decade ago.

7/11/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

I believe the most effective complaint against this (and sadly, it's important to focus on what will work within the entire set of what is right) is that anything even remotely symbolic of Islam whether intentional or unintentional will legitimize a link between the terrorists and Islam. Radical Islamists will be able to point to this memorial as proof that they have the true claim to Islam, since even the United States demonstrates it. The audience hearing this won't bother consulting the US officials about whether that's true or not. The result is a huge slap in the face to all moderate Muslims who already have a difficult time with those who are hijacking their religion without having the US giving aid to those hijackers.

It's similar to the slap in the face to Christians and the victims if you were to memorialize a group of Buddhists lynched by the KKK with an "Eternal Flaming Cross of Rememberance". Not only are you insulting the Buddhist victims but you are also insulting the non-KKK Christians who represent the true spirit of Christianity. It's hard to imagine doing something more insulting than this Flight 93 Memorial while keeping a straight face.

7/11/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the NY Times could leak all the Pols and media getting money one way or another from the Sauds, THAT would be in the public interest.

7/11/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Imagine the Uproar, and "Unconstitutionality" had it been it the shape of a Cross.
Good Luck!

7/11/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Personally, I think the whole atmosphere was poisoned, perhaps unintentionally, by the initial Crescent of Embrace design. It will be hard now to come up with a design that's just a design.

7/11/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

The crescent is a way lame idea,and a green one, well, double dare ya to be taken seriously.

Build a pergola fitting to the occasion, cast a "Freedom Bell" to fit under the pergola and toll it on the anniversary where those who gave their all can hear it on the wind.

7/11/2006 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I step lightly here. I look upon the Americans on Flight 93 as victims. They were a captive audience and made a desperate attempt to save their own lives, no different than a person being drowned by someone holding their head under water. The firemen who should have been drinking coffee and entered the towers on their own free will were heroes.Flight 93 was not heroic in the classical sense. There is an attempt to make it and the victims an icon for the War on Terror.

When your premise is dishonest, what difference does the design of the monument make to the lie?

7/11/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

Exactly. WAY too much space being given to this memorial. Who's gonna pay for all this, and it's upkeep for 10's or 100's of years? Like the Park Service is flush, or something. Face it, this is mostly a pork project . . . it denigrates the victims on the plane, and America. Grrrr.

7/11/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

Designing elements of the build environment - landscape, structures, or otherwise - often results in unintended iconography. The meaning of any artistic expression is ultimately subject to interpretation by the person observing it.

That being said, the icon of the "crescent of embrace" is SO blatant that one has to wonder if it was actually intended. If so, then to what end? Who is being remembered? The victims? The attackers? Or is it a deconstructivist attempt to question which is which? Or is it something else?

Personally, I think we should suspend any and all memorials regarding 9/11. Any memorial build before the GWOT (used for lack of a better soundbite phrase) is resolved will become a sad reflection of the cultural unravelling of our times. Only when most of us can agree on who we are and what we value, with 20/20 hindsight on 9/11 and its meaning, should we begin to think about memorializing it.

In the meantime, we have a job to do. That job has to do with 9/11 only in as much as those horrible memories should inspire us to do what is necessary to make sure it never happens again.

7/11/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Alec Rawls said...

When Wretchard verified the Mecca orientation of the original Crescent of Embrace back in September, he held out the proviso that north on the site plan could be magnetic north rather than true north.

I investigated this point by comparing the Crescent site-plan to Google-Earth's true-north oriented images and found that the roads near the crash-site have the same orientation in both, to within a fraction of a degree. Thus Wretchard's verification of Mecca orientation is itself verified.

Wretchard also noted in September that the Crescent group's landscape architect, Nelson Byrd Woltz, has a penchant for crescents. I checked out Woltz's crescents and found that none of them is oriented anywhere near Mecca. Neither could I find any other Islamic symbolism anywhere in his designs. Thus there is no evidence that Woltz had anything to do with the untoward features of the Crescent design. Murdoch also claims full credit, describing the "huge emotional investment" made by he and his wife.

7/11/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...


They didn't go like sheep. They fought. They deserve to be honored. They were in knowledge of what was transpiring elsewhere and took the initiative away from the attacker. That's the spirit of this country, no sheep, no lemmings.
gdude ... Who's gonna pay? How gauche can one get. You set a pretty high bar. Don't worry I'll pick up your tab. I don't think your money is good enough.

7/11/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I save the distinction, hero, for the few that selflessly and willingly put themselves at risk for the benefit of another. Fleeing from a burning building is not a heroic act. Desperation is not heroism. I cannot know that there were not individual heroic acts and I believe no American should ever have to be put in that situation. If you feel they were heroes, you are not alone. I reserve the distinction.

7/11/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger RAB said...

A simple cross for each passenger (not the muslims)
similar to Normandy or Arlingotn would be more than adequate.

7/11/2006 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

To accept this "deconstructive" "icon", this Crescent - is to announce that we are weak and we are losers. It is to announce our surrender.

Put this together with Steyn's column on the huge growth of Islam THROUGH CONVERSION (See Western Standard, 31 July 2006 (www.westernstandard.ca)/

It doesn't matter that happens in Iraq. It matters that any American anywhere, would propose this shape as a memorial to the dead of 9/11. It cannot been done innocently, either.

Thus, I repeat: we are losing, day by day.

7/11/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

I have read enough interviews with Medal of Honor winners, shaken the hand and talked with Jimmy Doolittle,Pappy Boyington, and Joe Foss all MOH to know that what most of them describe as heroism was in truth themselves being placed in a desperate situation NOT of their choosing but still going forward with their duty.
I believe your distinction lacks foundation. So we disagree.

7/11/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The flight 93 passengers were heroes, plain and simple. By fighting back they saved other people's lives by preventing the plane from crashing into a building. That was clearly one of their motives, that their plane wouldn't blow up another building like the World Trade Center, which they knew about.

To act instead of be paralyzed is heroic. They could have kept their own lives for longer by not fighting back. The idea that they would have been dead anyway is not necessarily true. As long as someone is alive, there is always the chance that something could save them. To throw away that chance of life in order to save the lives of others is heroic.

How happy the families of world trade center victims would be if those planes had been crashed into fields instead of buildings.

7/11/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th - step lightly here. I look upon the Americans on Flight 93 as victims. They were a captive audience and made a desperate attempt to save their own lives, no different than a person being drowned by someone holding their head under water. The firemen who should have been drinking coffee and entered the towers on their own free will were heroes.Flight 93 was not heroic in the classical sense. There is an attempt to make it and the victims an icon for the War on Terror.

Well, allow me to go further afield than 2164th and observe that there are some 35 relatively common jobs with a higher risk of fatality than being a firefighter, and some 40 riskier of death than being a cop. Farming, ironworkers, miners, commerical fishermen, truck drivers, electric linemen, taxi driver, pilots, etc., etc.

All factor risk into their job, have been rewarded in some premium for it of status and pay. And each day behind the wheel or down the shaft, up in the air doing vital, indispensible work does not make them all instant heroes. The option is not for a fisherman or truck driver or a cop to just sit and eat donuts and sip coffee and any action above that isn't "Hero-hood" - its meeting expectations for doing the agreed upon job duties. And in return, some government employees have negotiated whopper compensation deals private industry could never afford to play it's employees in risky jobs who "die in the line of duty".

Where heroism comes in is not by virtue of government worker uniform donned or job title, but by going over and above.

And that excepts people in the Armed Forces, who have a far higher risk of death and maiming and tough conditions than any cop or firefighter in many positions - even in peacetime. And who have far more inferior pay and death benefits than the "9/11 Hero 1st Responders.." do.

Just as assuredly as there were real heroes on 9/11 in the "lesser American/mere civilian ranks" most who we will never learn of their acts of heroism - the bulk of the cops and firefighters were not heroes that day. For the most part they thought they were in minimal or no danger, or when they were in danger - accepted it as risk balanced out by the thrill, the respect they would garner if they lived.

I agree with your Flight 93 analogy on having no choice - the head held under water analogy - and why they, the Gov't employee "heroes", and figures like Fighting Female Warrior Pvt Jessica Lynch were manufactured as heroes. They tried it with Stillman..

I think we have a disease of culturally relishing Victimhood too much and confusing it with legitimate heroism or achieving something so noble and stupendous merely by being part of a mass death that we must build huge monuments to Cherish our famous Victim-Heroes.

It's fucking sick, IMO, and I think will be looked on by future generations tearing down the creepy Oklahoma, billion-dollar WTC Monuments as a bizarre past practice.

The Shanksville one is the most over-the-top, given the number of people who died. 50 acres of "reflecting woods" for each "fallen hero", a 90 million dollar monument, more per "evil-doer avenger" than any group of victims in our history.

7/11/2006 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Ten acres, a pergola and bell for the memorial. A million in donations.

Now outside the memorial park we get water slide parks, hotdog vendors ,t-shirts with bell imprints.."Let's Roll" on everything and eveyday at the appointed hour a biplane trails smoke along the crash flightpath.
Ferris wheel, 300 ft observation tower, cockpit simulators ...all in an effort to help us never forget. The Griswalds do 9-11.

7/11/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"To throw away that chance of life in order to save the lives of others is heroic."
And so w.w., believes every homicide bomber that kills an innocent. So believed the hijackers, that their actions would save the lives of future Mohammedans from US & Western oppression.
From their perpective, heros all.

Sick puppies in all truth, but they do not see it that way. Neither did the folks "back home", in the KSA and Palistine.
War or retreat, not much else to talk about.
"..."There is no limits on our actions... Even to kill children is good — you stop the generation there, at the beginning." ..."
referencing the bomb attack in Bombay, but the mental conditioning is the same.

7/11/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Refugee from the 50s said...

A commenter over at LGF pointed to this refutation of the jihadist memorial idea. In particular, scroll down to where Sisu compares this reaction to the Jihadist reaction to the Burger King ice-cream cone package.

I'm torn. I wish I'd seen Sisu's arguments before I sent my objections to the Park Service.

I acknowledge the judgement of the United 93 families that there was no jihadist intent. I have no desire to be strident. I think that, at ground level, this could well be a moving, beautiful memorial, with few if any obvioiusly jihadist features.

I acknowledge that just about any design will have features that can be misconstrued to support almost any viewpoint.

However, I also agree that if there is any chance that the Jihadists will accept the design as bowing to them, it must be scrapped, regardless of intent. (The ice-cream incident certainly supports the idea that that's a risk.)

The word "memorial" suggests that this should be a place of remembrance. I want the courage and defiance of the UA93 passengers and crew to be remembered along with the fact of their deaths. In those terms, this seems like a place of healing, and I'm not sure I want that.

On balance, I want the crescent scrapped. Whatever the intent, there are too many bad feelings by too many people for this to be an acceptable design.

7/11/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

It would appear that worldwide the gloves are off ..

7/11/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger USCitizen said...

My comments are here.

An abomination.

7/11/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Lloyd Flack said...


I have to agree with Wu Wei and Habu-1 here. I would describe courage as acting effectively despite fear. The danger dealt with does not have to be a chosen one. Fear can lead to our taking simple and ineffective actions that actually increase the danger. How often is freezing an appropriate response to a danger facing a human being?

The passengers and crew on Flight 93 neither froze nor panicked but acted despite their fear in a way that frustrated the terrorists' primary aim. Were they trying to save their own lives or that of others? Both of course.

Are courage and heroism the same thing? I don't think so. Should this act be described as heroism. I think it should.

Al-Quaeda hoped that its actions would demoralize America. The acts of the police and firefighters and others helped nullify their hope. The actions of the crew and passengers on Flight 93 completely wiped out any possibility of demoralization. They demonstrated that Americans were not helpless.

They deserve a better memorial than this travesty. The architect couldn't admit that he stuffed up and should start again from scratch.

7/11/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Sissy Willis said...

To understand a landscape, you have to inhabit the site, if not in person, at least with your mind's eye. A cursory glance at an architect's plan isn't going to do it. As the widow of Flight 93's pilot, Sandy Dahl, put it, "No one was thinking of Islam when they were making this memorial."

A demonic deconstruction of hidden menace

Where some see crescents, others see apple pie:

Let's roll!

7/11/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I do not want the last word. I want to comment about the quality and the tenor and value of this site. Civil disagreement and respect for alternative views is a rare commodity but often achieved here. It is more the norm than the exception. I value that and respect all of those with whom I disagree and enjoy the repartee and the level of discourse.

7/11/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...


I would like to associate myself with your remarks. Our host has attracted a band of informed,articulate,respectful people who can enjoy light badinage or a bit of bar room bravado. It is always a pleasure to be in this august company.

7/11/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Hard to say who's a hero and who's not when no one on the plane lived to tell.The story like Pat Tillman's may be embellished yet don't we need narratives of valor when all we hear is the drip-drip of amoral cowardice from the Dhimmicrats and media Heckle and Jekylls sitting on the fence post.
I don't know anything about the designer of the site,but I suspect whether consciously or not the crescent was an attempt to show our perceived magnanimity toward the "Religion of Peace",just like Bush has done from day one.

7/11/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger orwoody said...

Cedarford said "They tried it with Stillman.."

Perhaps he meant "Tillman." But, then accuracy doesn't mean much to one who can be-little choices made in those stressful moments that day in September.

I'm old and I've never been tested to any real extent. I'd like to think that if it ever happened, I'd be as worthy of the term heroic as those who Cedarford denigrates.


7/11/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Politechnical said...

Re: Sissy

There are far too many coincidences in the memorial for Islam not to be considered a major influence.

And it's not 'Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln' type stuff, either.

A memorial can be based on any geometric shape- or none at all.

Yet- of all the possibilities, this one was designed as a crescent.

Of all possible orientations, it aligns with Mecca, forming a mirhab.

It's possible that this is all innocent, but is it probable?

We've seen the immense effort devoted to twisting the WTC memorial to political purpose. Is it so shocking that the same force would be applied to Flight 93?

Once the thing is built it is too late to remedy. Start over- and get it right this time.

7/11/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

At least the barm-heads got it right this time. The color of Islam is green not red!

7/11/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I would call them hero's for two reasons: (1) they *did* save lives in preventing whatever had been planned for that plane to crash into, and (2) they showed the rest of us the way in how to resist. As Peggy Noonan noted in a WSJ column, Americans passengers are *the* best source of security on planes now, in that we will never, ever, allow ourselves to be herded like sheep into a situation that ends in crashing into the WTC towers again. We have seen this several times since 9/11, and I think it must be because the passengers on Flight 93 so clearly showed us the way.

As to the design itself, I have to wonder why the architect is stubbornly keeping to his stupid crescent design after the public outcry last time, and when he was TOLD (ordered?) to change it. Either the dude has an agenda, or he's a lamentably unskilled architect.

And in either case, I have to wonder why the Park Service hasn't jettisoned him and found someone else who isn't obsessed with circles and crescents in shades of red.

7/11/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

A Crescent of Embrace and a Tower of Voices minaret? Good lord. I took both architectural and Middle Eastern studies undergrad and grad, and there's no question. This site's topography doesn't dictate a Crescent, nor does it demand a superstructure/ traditional minaret entry tower glazed in white tile that has bells which "voice" over the landscape...

I may be only a moderate and not deep into conspiracy thinking, but this I know: thematic design and symbology are important to designers. Just add in personal politics and voila! You have an insult foisted upon those who aren't clever enough to realize what you're selling them. Or at least the memorial designers thought they did.

7/11/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

The only souls that know if they acted heroically are not with us. We should enshrine the act with respect to the individuals.

Habu, I've worked with 2 MoH recipients. You are correct. They are mostly embarrased that they were the ones that survived. Embarrased may not be the correct word, possibly introspective reflection of what they as humans did to survive. Survive a stupid mistake on someones part that put them in the situation in the first place.

7/11/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Imagine this dedication speech, loosely paraphrased from a speech by the most hated president in American history.

"Two hundred thirty years ago, our forefathers established a nation founded on liberty and the proposition that all people are created equal. We are now engaged in a great moral struggle testing the resolve of our people against an enemy whose desire to exterminate our people and ideals are documented by his words and his actions. On September 11, the enemy hijacked civilian airliners to massacre people in our nation's cities. This is where the passengers of Flight 93 fought back. They knew they would die, but they preferred to die with honor than to die without it. It is altogether fitting and proper that we dedicate this ground in remembrance of our struggle against tyranny. Yet we cannot dedicate this ground nor can we consecrate it, for the brave men and women of Flight 93 have consecrated this ground more than we ever can. The world will little remember what we say here, but it will long remember what these fallen heroes did here. It is now for the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work of defeating the sadistic tyranny that sent its murderers to do their evil on the eleventh of September. We are the ones to be dedicated here in remembrance of the struggle, and resolve that the heroes of Flight 93 will not have died in vain, that this nation shall continue to be free, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth."

7/11/2006 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Why have a memorial there at all? Why not just let the ground itself exist without adornment?

Moreover, why should we be having any physical memorial to the victims of the September 11 attacks? If our domestic fifth column insists on pushing its architectural defeatism, why not let our memorial come from our actions instead of stone monuments?

Every year on September 11, I think every city in America should sound air raid sirens in memorial to both the victims and the heroes of that attack against our people, an attack that was not merely an atrocity but a breach of our national hospitality.

7/11/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I'm old and I've never been tested to any real extent. I'd like to think that if it ever happened, I'd be as worthy of the term heroic as those who Cedarford denigrates.


Woody, I don't denigrate bravery or courage, even a desperate struggle for life like fighting to get into a plane cabin or a crowded lifeboat to live longer.

But we have gotten into bad habit of saying Victims=Heroes, a habit of awarding "blanket heroism" by certain select job titles, and an over the top effort to build staggeringly expensive monuments to an arbitrary few that dwarf the funds laid out for National war memorials in the past.

All very culturally sick habits, IMO.

Heroism certainly is not assignable and a blanket thing by class, job, or above all, particular circumstances of victimhood. Some few teachers are heroes, some select soldiers in any conflict are recognized as heroes. Medical staff sometimes marvel at the rare heroism of a particular patient. But all soldiers, teachers, firefighters, cancer patients are not instant heroes - even if their "end" is tragic and met with a modicum of courage.

"Monumentalitis" appears to be flat out pandering and recent Administrations that think money for progressively more elaborate memorials catering to an annoited few "special victim=heroes" among the 2 million Americans that die each year, and special interest group museums is easy to find and blow. Past memorials were modest - measured in the tens of thousands of dollars to a few million. The Vietnam Memorial cost 8 million. The Soviet WWII "Victory" Memorial, was extravagent at 50 million, but it was 2 dollars and 50 cents worth of memorial for each Soviet life lost.

Clinton started it with a belief that terrorism attacks were an national tragedy and only through grief and mourning and a cost is no object mentality to honor the wildest wishes of "victim families" - can therapeutic, true psychological "healing and closure" be accomplished. So 58 million for Oklahoma City, and hey, if the "victim families" demanded all workers nailed unexpectantly by a blast be called "heroes" for it, Clinton was happy to pander away, and toss in how every person in every government union within a 100 mile radius of McVeighs blast "showed they were true heroes".

Until we get up to 2,000 acres of "national memorial" for under 40 victims of a plane flight, 90 million in costs, annual upkeep of a few million...and all located out in the boondocks where after a few years, few visitors will come - like the experience with the over the top Oklahoma City memorial.

Or worse, the multi billion-dollar Memorial to the WTC which is only the grandest of some 80 memorials scattered around to the WTC dead - "America's Most Special Victims Ever".

Being killed by a terrorist is the highest form of heroism, worthy of the most expensive monuments in human history if you fight back? Or have a goverment job of some small annual risk and you wear a uniform? (Not counting soldiers of course! Hopefully their memorial for those lost in the "GWOT" or whatever the conflict is described as in the future will be humble, modest, exquisitel appropriate and cost about what the honor given to the Vietnam Vets cost.)

No, I think future generations will look on this Cult-like behavior and pandering as an aberrant episode in American cultural history.

As a volunteer firefighter, I followed the 9/11 "rescue" and the followup "hero-searchers & rescuer" activities and suspected that they had rescued almost no one, and had had serious management, communications, and discipline issues that generated a large number firefighter lives needlessly sacrificed. Which the McKinsey report commissioned confirmed about the firefighters. The police performance on 9/11 and it's aftermath was looked at as well by McKinsey and found nearly above reproach.

7/11/2006 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger erico said...

What I posted at the flight 93 website:

Communication is the responsibility of the one speaking. If one is not understood, the fault lies with the speaker. Similarly, the intent of the designer of the memorial is not at issue, since it is the reception of the design that matters. What follows is my considered perception of the plans for the memorial, which I give in hopes it will shed light on why others have a negative reaction.

By now you will have heard from many of the irony of fashioning a Crescent of Embrace for the flight 93 memorial, since the crescent is a symbol of Islam, and it was Islamic extremists who did the killing that day. I hope to clarify why I find it revolting. Simply, the thought of the victims being embraced forever by the crescent arms of those who killed in the name of Islam is stomach turning. Intentionally or not the designer of the memorial allows the terrorists to make a claim upon the victims even after death, circumscribing their identities. That in the name of all that is holy the victims are condemned to death, that they cannot escape judgment, that they are guilty and worthy of being slaughtered, as judged by the terrorists' interpretation of Islam. The victims are relativized, devalued, by this foreign act of 'holy' violence, and the crescent of embrace design symbolizes this argument of the jihadists.

Do we not wish for those who suffered evil on that day to find release in death? To call it an embrace is to identify with the twisted thinking of the terrorists themselves. Can it possibly bring Americans peace to think of those murdered on 9/11 as being eternally tormented upon the horns of a devil? The Crescent of Embrace prolongs the terror, the pain, the argument the terrorists made in their claim to judge who is worthy and who shall die an infidel. Where is the voice of the fallen? In sum, I do not support a memorial design that compactly symbolizes the very argument of the terrorists. The memorial needs to remember the victims, not indulge in any 'balanced' or 'higher' perspective, though I can't imagine what that might be.

7/12/2006 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

I would prefer the site be used for the construction of a state-of-the-art
munitions factory. That is the kind of message our memorial should send.

7/12/2006 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re gdude's "Who's gonna pay for all this, and it's upkeep for 10's or 100's of years?"

If it is in the shape of a crescent, we know who will contribute to its upkeep, and who would contribute to its being made.

If anything is to be built there, oriented towards Mecca, then it should be a statue commemorating those who fought for Flight 93 (something like the statue of the three soldiers at the Vietnam memorial), with the names of the passengers (the hijackers left off), and enscription on the bottom "Let's Roll"

7/12/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

a statue commemorating those who fought for Flight 93 (something like the statue of the three soldiers at the Vietnam memorial), with the names of the passengers (the hijackers left off), and enscription on the bottom "Let's Roll"

Could there be a cartoon with the prophet Mohammad (propeller beanie upon him) someplace in the design so that Muslims understand *exactly* how much we respect them?

7/12/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

The embrace of Islam and the embrace of death...

Instead of autumnal red maples formed in a Crescent of Embrace, what about white Easter blooming dogwoods arranged in a Cross of Sacrifice? There would be nothing at all religious about it, of course- simply two axes of trees intersecting at a right angle to allow for quadrant views of the horizon to reference aviation. The cruciated landscape memorial would signify how loss cleaves our lives into seemingly separate parts, until one reaches a center focal point of understanding sacrifice, etc.

Instead of a tall entry tower like the Minaret of Voices, a modest structure with nave and transept, or martyrium, could be placed at the focal point/intersection of the treed cruciform for contemplation and renewal (so don't forget the candelabra and chalices.)

7/12/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...


We need to defeat the Paul Murdoch-led 5th Column and put a proper memorial there because that's the only way they'll understand they've been beaten. If we do nothing, then they get to forget, which is also fine with them.

Forgetting the whole thing is a win, or building The Contemptuous Crescent© is a huge win for them. A proper memorial is a defeat, especially in light of being bested at the WTC site.

7/12/2006 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger RPD said...

Regardless of whether it was intended to be a Muslim crescent or not, i dislike it in that to me it looks less like a memorial than it does a glorified crater.

7/12/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Achillea said...

Not to denigrate the courage and heroism of the the firefighters and police who put their lives in dangerous situations every day, but they're trained and equipped for that. Physically and psychologically, they're prepared to fight those battles. The passengers aboard Flight 93 were ordinary people thrust into a dangerous situation for which they had no equipment and no training, and yet they still fought. What happened to them was something completely beyond their experience, beyond anything they'd ever conceived, and yet they still fought.

Speaking as an ordinary woman who was once taken hostage in her own home, I can tell you (even with all modesty) it takes a whole lot of courage to break the "this isn't happening" paralysis. By reacting to it, you acknowledge that this horrific, impossible situation you're in is real, and that's a huge psychological step to take. Even if it's the only thing that will enable you to survive, it's hard. I'm not sure I can convey to those who've never experienced it just how hard it is. Many people who find themselves in dangerous situations just can't do it. That's no slight on them, but to cheapen the courage of those who do take that terrifying step by labelling them mere 'victims' does them a great injustice.

7/12/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger geoffgo said...


I second yor suggestion. Make it a UAV factory. Name each drone for one of those killed in Shanksville and at the WTC and Pentagon.

7/12/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger ambisinistral said...

I don't seek them out, but when I find a battle field I visit it. At their best they are not monuments with a narrative to teach us, they are places of reflection. On this ground people fought.

In the north of Florida there is a beautiful pine woods with a rail line running through it. During the American Civil War there was a minor battle fought in those woods over control of that rail line. As you walk down a path through that woods, with birds singing and the sunlight filtered by the trees, there is one sign after another bearing the regimental numbers of the boys from Georgia and NY who once fought and died in those woods.

No elaborate monument, with a narrative for us dimwits, needs to be built in the field where that flight ended. The field itself, and the knowledge of what happened there, is monument enough.

A block of granite for each passenger and crew member who died. Place one block where a body was found. Then surround it with picnic tables, barbeque pits and playground equipment. Those passengers died for life, let us live it as we reflect upon their sad fate.


7/12/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger El_Heffe said...

Achillea said... "to cheapen the courage of those who do take that terrifying step by labelling them mere 'victims' does them a great injustice."



RE: flight 93 passengers

Pardon me a superimposition of the tragic with the mundane.

In a traffic accident the party with the last opportunity to prevent the accident is considered to be at fault. Though their error may not be directly causal, and perhaps even the smallest of all the errors that lead to the accident.

Consider then, that designing men from half a world away came that day with murder in their hearts. And the "last opportunity to prevent" that murder fell to the otherwise unassuming passengers of flight 93, and they (or some of them) rose to the occasion at the cost of their own lives.

Two administrations failed to anticipate the threat. Two intellegence organizations missed their cues. The I.N.S. let the killers slip through their fingers. Aviation security was completely blind sided. All of the mechanisms that could have kept America safe on that day failed.

Except one...

The passengers of flight 93, who by all rights should have been the protected, stepped into the breach and became our defense. And in doing so demonstrated to the killers the mettle of the American people at large.

To say that they were struggling to save their own lives is an over simplification. When suicidal killers are in control of the airplane you have to understand that the odds of your own survival are minimal.

So the question is this...When a handful of suicidal killers intends to murder hundreds of people, and a few dozen of those intended victims rise up and thwart the killers before they can harm the rest, and they die in the doing of it, are they worthy of praise?

I believe they are. And the more so because no one had any right to expect such actions from them.

"Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."

How best to memorialize that greatness which was thrust upon them I do not know. But clearly, obviously, any memorial that can be interpreted as offering any degree of pardon (let alone praise) to their killers is unacceptable.

7/12/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

I'd think that the memorial ought to incorporate the idea that 'the attack stopped here'--maybe it should be pointed towards Washington, D.C.--but get the idea across that it didn't make it, stopped right here--thereby reinforcing the idea that we ought to damned well fight back. To me they were heroes. Voting, then fighting with no weapons in an almost certainly futile act--except they 'stopped the attack right here'--at this place where the memorial is located to remember them by.

7/12/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger KG said...

"No elaborate monument, with a narrative for us dimwits, needs to be built in the field where that flight ended. The field itself, and the knowledge of what happened there, is monument enough."

Absolutely! No need for lectures by sophisticated intellectuals telling us how to feel, what it all means etc etc. We bloody well know what it means, thank you.
Let's just get on with the job of killing more of the animals who glory in death and destruction. Time enough for memorials when the job is done.

7/12/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Abu Nudnik said...

Doug: a cross isn't a bad idea: an airplane is shaped like a cross; the victims were martyrs who died to save others (probably in the White House), etcetera

7/12/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger wkgdyw said...

ambisinistral is on the right track. Or, as Mark Steyn said, what's wrong with a black granite block with the names, under the words: 'Let's Roll' ?

7/12/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Egfrow said...

I've posted an analysis of the New Design using Google Earth Image overlays using the Memorial Projects own graphics. I also have the raw KML files and grahics if anyone wants them. Just email me.


The pics are about half way down. These are repeatable.

7/13/2006 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger BurtB said...

Just went to the web site


it is still a red crescent, but the Tower of voices minaret is now replaced with two buildings.

I still find it inappropriate.

7/13/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger BurtB said...

Just got an email from the National park Service.
Good afternoon,
Thank you for sharing your thought provoking comments and for taking an interest in Your National Parks. By copy of this e-mail, I am forwarding your concerns to Joanne Hanley, Superintendent Flight 93 National Memorial.

Kathy Gerding
The email given for Joanne Hanley was Joanne_Hanley@nps.gov
The email oringinated from NPS_Webmaster@nps.gov


7/17/2006 05:26:00 PM  

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