Monday, September 12, 2005

The Flight 93 Memorial

The design of the Flight 93 memorial is being criticized for resembling a Red Islamic Crescent. Michelle MalkinReal Clear Politics and Little Green Footballs point out the uncanny similarity. One poster at the FreeRepublic claimed that the "Crescent of Embrace", the principal visual feature consisting of a semicircle of red maple trees enfolding a central space, was oriented toward Mecca.

According to this site, the latitude/longitude coordinates of Mecca are 21.4234, 39.8262 and the coordinates of the Flight 93 crash site are 40.052, -78.8963. Using the calculator from this site, I determined that the azimuth between the two points is 124.80°.

Next I went to the Flight 93 National Memorial website and found the biggest overhead view of the memorial I could find with north oriented up. I measured the distance from tip-to-tip of the crescent and came up with 64px east-west and 90px north-south. The arctangent of 64/90 is the angle between north and a line drawn between the tips, which works out to 35.42°. Adding 90° to this angle gives the direction the crescent faces as 125.42°. Conclusion: the crescent points towards Mecca with an error of 0.62°, or 0.17%.

I had my doubts, so I decided to check things for myself. The Flight 93 Memorial Site has a downloadable PDF map of the winning design, which I duly downloaded. The legend at the bottom of the map specifies it is oriented North, whether true or magnetic is not stipulated. (Magnetic declination is between 6 and 9 degrees W.) Drawing a line connecting the tips of the crescent and drawing a perpendicular, you can see which which way it "opens". Using a protractor, I found the crescent opens between 230 and 240 (southwest) degrees, or taking the reciprocal, between 50 and 60 (northeast). You are invited to do this yourselves and verify the result.

Next I wanted to know if the coordinates given by the FreeRepublic poster really pointed to the Flight 93 crash site and Mecca. The best way to do this is to convert the decimal lat/long coordinates into DMS using a calculator provided by the FCC. The results are given below, but you can do it yourself.

Place Lat(D) Long(D) Lat(DMS) Long(DMS)
Flight 93 crash 40.052 -78.8963 40° 3' 7.20" 78° 53' 46.68"
Mecca 21.4234 39.8262 21° 25' 24.24" 39° 49' 34.32"

Then next step was to stick these coordinates into Keyhole 2 LT, and both coordinates check out. Keyhole took me to the site with the characteristic two hills and ridge pointing northeast shown in the Flight 93 Memorial winning design. (Keyhole users, tilt the map if you have trouble distinguishing the features.) The coordinates for Mecca likewise go to "Makkah" in Saudi Arabia. Both sets of coordinates seem valid.

I tried to follow the FreeRepublic poster's calculations for bearing but found them obtuse. I could never come up with an azimuth of 124.80 degrees. So I went to two sites to independently calculate the bearing from the Flight 93 crash site to Mecca. You can go to the Marine Great Circle Calculator or WhereAreWe?. Both these sites accept the coordinates of points A and B and calculate the true bearing to get from A to B. Both give a result of 55 degrees true, or its reciprocal 235. I can tell you that my jaw fell open. The bearing given by both Great Circle Calculators corresponded near enough to the measured opening of the Crescent from the PDF map. (The reader should do this for himself).

Now it could have been coincidence.  I went to architect Nelson Byrd Woltz's website and examined his portfolio. Many of his previous works emphasize the semicircular or crescent motif. For example, the Westminster Presbyterian Church Memorial Garden, Watercolor Park, Doris Duke Center and North Carolina Arboretum all seem to incorporate this semicircular theme. That brought me right back to the Flight 93 Memorial Site. If you look at the video provided, you'll see that the orientation of the "Crescent of Embrace" is determined, or at least very strongly suggested by the contours of the ground. (The PDF map shows the same thing). The contours run right through the opening of the crescent. Unless you wanted the park visitors to climb up and down contour lines the opening was exactly where it had to be. So the simplest explanation it seems to me, is that the orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is coincidental.

But what a coincidence! Memorials are symbols above all and it may be inappropriate to commemorate Flight 93 with a Red Crescent facing Mecca.


I am reminded of all those "Freudian" symbols that everyone suddenly noticed in High School, or about calculations showing the Great Pyramid had this or that occult meaning. Looking at the architect's portfolio and the topography it was better than even odds he was going to come up with a semicircle somewhere and if you allowed for twenty degree arcs as the limit of suggestion, there was a 1 in 9 chance of an accidental orientation to Mecca because any azimuth has a reciprocal.

But memorials are what we perceive them to be; they rarely have an intrinsic value. They "remind" us of things, and it so happened that a design which was probably innocently conceived triggered certain unfortunate associations. Symbols are powerful and dangerous to the unwitting. During the Stalin era, one man was sent to the Gulag because he hung his hat over Stalin's picture. It didn't matter that he was blind. It was the symbolism of his act that counted then. Perhaps years from today no will object to Red Crescents displayed in conjunction with the victims of September 11, just as someday people may remember that Swastikas were widely employed as ancient religious symbols. One day, but probably not in 2005.


Blogger tckurd said...

We need to not do this. If anything, a Red Maple cross will suffice.

I can guarantee, having been born in Pennsylvania, that those trees and that site will be burned down if it's what this seems to be.

People of Pennsylvania tend to be patriotic.

9/12/2005 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

The memorial will tell us who the enemy of humanity is and where he comes from.

I believe it should be constructed as planned and then the above spin vigorously applied.

9/12/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Sanity said...

It could be coincidence. It could be deliberate. Or it could be a monumental "Freudian Slip" - that aptly demonstrates the unconscious motivations that drive many anti-American, "peace"-loving; appeasing; enabling; and unbelievably blind minions of the left side of the political spectrum.

9/12/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"Honor" those who died, fighting, and securing the FIRST American win in this 3-decade war? Fine.

By making their MURDERER'S religious symbol? That is INAPPROPRIATE in the extreme!

Such a symbol would mock their bravery and dishonor their memories; would disable reconciliation; would provide Islamo-fascists with 'proof' of their victory and domination; and rankle with Americans for years to come!

9/12/2005 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

If an unfortunate coincidence is all that we are dealing with here, assisted by this designer being a bit of a 'one-trick pony', then we can all happily agree to start again from a clean sheet of paper, can't we? There need be no controversy.

Let's see whether that is what now happens.

9/12/2005 05:16:00 AM  
Blogger Undertoad said...

This is a stretch and it reminds me of some of the stretches for political correctness from the left. Try hard to be offended and you probably will be.

9/12/2005 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger Forklift said...

Wake up to this.
The competition is funded by the
Heinz Endowments and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
The design is a collaboration of architectural firms and, I think, expression of lefty diversity by people who don't know the limits of multiculturalism.
Is it an epic blunder?
Is it epic smugness?
Is it believeable that no one on the design team picked up the obvious symbolism of the crescent, its color and its orientation?
The questions should be put to the jury who selected this design.

9/12/2005 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


There's a certain truth to the observation that beauty, and possibly offense, is in the eye of the beholder. It is a stretch, I believe, to impute any motives to the architects or designers. But some "objective correlatives" do seem unfortunate. For example the phrase "Crescent of Embrace" seems particularly unfortunate, when "Circle of Remembrance" would have done as well. The Islamic Red Crescent is typically oriented East, not southwest, like the memorial. The idea the Flight 93 memorial should be oriented towards Mecca struck me as implausible. But hey, there it is.

I think its best to regard the whole matter as as a purely aesthetic problem and not turn it into some kind of political controversy.

9/12/2005 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger Minh-Duc said...

Since the victims of the Flight are of diverse religious background, it is best to strip the memorial of any particular faith, coincident or otherwise.

9/12/2005 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

There have been comments that the Islamic crescent widens toward the center and the renderings of the memorial show a more or less even band of red. What isn't said is that the red band is open toward the center so the plantings can grow out while there are buildings preventing growth on the ends. In time this would become a perfect crescent oriented toward Mecca.

To say this is accidental or Freudian is nonsense. It's possible the design could be the things Dr. Sanity lists, possible, but highly improbable.

9/12/2005 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

When some objected to the low wall of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. and its implied sense of loss without triumph, the answer devised was to add a more traditional statue of U.S. servicemen on a point overlooking the wall.
The answer to any implication of Mecca in the Flight 93 memorial should be along similar lines
- perhaps a stylized aircraft - which also could represent a missile in some peoples' minds - pointed very deliberately and directly at Mecca?
And make it out of scrap recovered from enemy weapons destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to make sure the symbolism is not lost on anyone.

9/12/2005 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Wouldn't it be ironic if the 'Crescent' Memorial one day pointed to where Mecca used to be?

9/12/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Designers design, they spend lots of time contemplating ALL the aspects of their work.
Artists make statements through their work, they spend lots of time contemplating the message sent by their work.
Architects are both designers AND artists. To think that either their design or their art occurs by happenstance is absurd. The seeds for the idea of the Memorial were planted 4 years ago, they have been germinated with forethought and care

A Crescent of Embrace is just that, an attempt, through art and design to "embrace" our misunderstood foe. To look beyond the violence and hug our enemy, smothering their hate with our Luv.
Bet on it.

9/12/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Didn't the designer LIE about the crescent being untapered?
Why couldn't it have been squared off at the "right" end as it is on the left?

9/12/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

For Shame!
It is well known that artists are
First, Last, and Always!
The Andy Warhol Institute says so!
(saw that as one of the sources!)

9/12/2005 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

One man's Patriot is another man's traitor.
Just as the Iraqi Insurgents are not anti Iraqi, per se.
Just As Robert E Lee & 'Stonewall' Jackson were not unAmerican, neither perhaps are these Architects. They could well be Patriotic, their version of US being, of course, much different than mine, or perhaps yours.

9/12/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Try tckurd's cross design,
Observe the howls of outrage from the
"secular" left!

9/12/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"or perhaps yours."

9/12/2005 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Someone with an enterprising spirit should set up a stand selling copper nails just outside the entrance to the memorial. There are many ways to express opinions.

I don't really give a damn about the 'artistic' intent.

9/12/2005 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

how about the "cresent design" and then list the names of the dead..

in no way listing or counting the moslem terrorists as humans...

9/12/2005 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Presbyterian Church"
Presbypoet and Rick Ballard can attest to the Red White and Blue values of the National Presbytery!
Several others too.
Say, where's Buddy?

9/12/2005 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How 'bout some entrepreneur selling little "personalized" piglet trinkets.
"Daddy, I want an Izz Bracelet!"
What is Izz!

9/12/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Oh my,

On a regular basis in the UAE their English dailies would report on a Hadith, a bismillah, or a Koranic quote found in a slice of tomatoe, a piece of toast etc. They never took such as coincidence or a freak of nature (a stain left by melting snow & salt this last spring set off a wave of pilgramage to an underpass in Chicgo), it was an act fo God.

Muslims also take the fact they sit on a good portion of the world's most precious commodity as sign of divine approval and support.

Muslims WILL NOT go through this rigorous analysis and reasoning, they will take the fact this memorial is in the shape of their religious symbol and it points at Mecca as a divine sign of the correctness of their cause. See, even the enemies of Allah unwittingly submit!

Now, I know it would be too much to ask for Christian symbolism but lets cut the Islamic symbolism.

9/12/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It is well known that Katrina had Allah's sign of approval.

9/12/2005 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger bioqubit said...

burn it down.

start again.

9/12/2005 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger worldturnedupsidedown said...

The architechs knew. I'm sure they had a good chuckle over this. They will deny it of course. . . and have another little chuckle over that. . .

9/12/2005 06:57:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal said...

Yes, It could be a coincidence. But then again, I've seen how well the Left can operate when it wants things to go their way.

I can't help but sense that a playing card was palmed. Perhaps Hegelian antics at the awards jury?

Well, it seems that the jury included relatives of the flight's heroes. Good idea. But what of the other participants? And who did the choosing of the participants? This is worth investigating as it could be revealing too.

Are we to believe that nobody noticed the crescent? Or cared? Perhaps. Like that orientation that dropped your jaw -- just another coincidence!

Or were the doubters double-teamed into dropping the observation?

I recall seeing such in operation in those community townhalls sponsored by the Concord Coalition during the Clinton Administration. Maybe others here endured the experience.

It seemed even then to be all about convincing us how the Federal purse seems to have a mind of its own. The message: "There's nothing mere mortals can do to reduce the growth of government."

Event organizers reduced the whole community into multiple 6-7 unit subcommittees with a "leader." Anyone, such as myself, who recalled the Gordion Knot was marginalized. Few committees came up with good ideas, and hence the consensus -- the synthesis -- became that nothing could be done. Hegelian dialectic in process.

9/12/2005 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger stavr0s said...

Even if an architectural concidence, it's a damned bad idea and that thing should be burned down.

9/12/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The message:
"There's nothing mere mortals can do to reduce the growth of government
Didn't God Say That?
Praise be to Allah!

9/12/2005 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Allah Akbar, and etc.

9/12/2005 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

A red Crescent of Embrace to memorialize our dead at the hands of Muslim jihadists wanting the world to be forcibly "embraced" by Islam is accidental? Yes, and there'd be no hidden messages in a five-pointed Star of Homeland erected in Gaza or a huge Cross of Saving Grace constructed on the Iraqi-Iranian border.

My field is architecture and I can say with 99% certainty that the symbolism of this design is intentional. Designers may be esoteric, usually leftist, utopian, self-important, eccentric, genius, sometimes dull and oft times flamboyant, but they are not stupid. Monument design is ALL about meaning and symbolic import. Yes, the designers have insulted the jury and public with this elegantly clever proposal, but we shouldn't return the insult by believing them to merely be politically tone-deaf and/or subconscious dupes.

9/12/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What is it about self-important that's wrong?

9/12/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

About that "five-pointed Star of Homeland" above, please add a point to make it six. I never said that designers could actually count!

9/12/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

But WHAT do we count?
That is the question!

9/12/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Other than the Gay ones,
Do Male designers have lots of "female" traits?

9/12/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My associate whose dad worked with Wernher Von Braun said that Werhner had a green painted concrete "lawn!"

9/12/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

"Werner had a green painted concrete 'lawn"

Was he showing us how mankind will be forced to (badly) simulate nature as we pave it over, or that brilliant rocket scientists aren't very grounded?

Never realized there were Gay designers, Doug. I thought we were all wimmin.

9/12/2005 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Nietzsche once said, "Poets are always the valet of some morality."

The same is true of artisans, it seems.

The Red Crescent on hallowed ground is a moral statement. The symbolism was known, and accepted, by the architect.

9/12/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Seems to me that in this place and for this occasion the one thing that MUST be commemorated is the phrase, "Let's roll!"

I'm not seeing this, I'm not hearing it, and I don't see any place for it to go.

If there were to be a large loud-speaker with an American accented voice saying firmly and with clarity, "Let's roll", and then the Crescent exploded ... *that* would be appropriate. And totally inoffensive.

9/12/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...


I don't often disagree with your analysis, but I can't agree that it would be a stretch to impute any motives to the designers of the architects.

I do agree it could have been a coincidence. But a heavy preponderance (60, 70, 80% perhaps?) of the evidence points to disingenuousness on the part of the designer.

The burden of proof in this case now falls to the designer to demonstrate his innocent obliviousness.

If the designer fails to present some evidence on his own behalf, or if he fails to at least acknowledge to need to do so, I will be forced to conclude he knew exactly what he was doing.

But anyway, excellent post, as usual.

9/12/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger tomder55 said...

there is another memorial in Pennsylvania that has a simple copse of trees . If it is good enough in Gettysburg it should be good enough in Shanksville. Also ;I understand that there is alot of land in Western Pennsylvania to spare ;but why a memorial that is 2000 acres big ? Seems alittle overdone to me .

9/12/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Doug said...
Try tckurd's cross design,
Observe the howls of outrage from the
"secular" left!

excuse me, there were also Jews that were murdered on that flight, why should we put a cross OR a star of david up?

why not try to look beyond any one person's personal faith, no cresent, no cross, no star, it aint a left or right issue...

the cross, a symbol of death, a roman torture tool used to murder 110,000 jews 2000 years ago, is now also a christian symbol, christians dont see it that way, but every time I see one, i think not of jesus, but of the other 109,999 jews that were murdered on it...

9/12/2005 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Andrew wants me to merge with a Female Sea Cucumber, so how should I know?

9/12/2005 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why not a cross w/a star on top?

9/12/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reminds this country kid of his X-Mas tree.

9/12/2005 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

See previous thread, C?

9/12/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Could c be a C Cucumber?

9/12/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Good thing I don't use the initial "u", Doug, or u'd b u and also me!

9/12/2005 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Could "doug" be a symbol of something far more sinister?

9/12/2005 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The burden of proof in this case now falls to the designer to demonstrate his innocent obliviousness."
I thought I had already done that.

9/12/2005 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Could "doug" be a symbol of something far more sinister?

Maybe 'god' inverted and diverted by 'u'? Can't really tell unless we know your shape and color, u know.

9/12/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

OT. Sorry.

Rat and others might be interested in this. Rich Lowry provides the link (no sub. required) in The Corner today.

What Crumpton says further down in the article about tribal honor in Afghanistan (never to be confused with, for instance, sectarian politics in Iraq) I've heard almost verbatim from others who've done the same work in the eastern reaches.

"I've seen the future, and Afghanistan is it." Crumpton didn't say it, but he might as well have. It's a statement not without controversy today, but there you have it.

In From the Cold and Able to Take the Heat

By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 12, 2005; A17

Last month, Henry "Hank" Crumpton, a revered master of CIA covert operations, formally came in from the cold.

Crumpton gained almost mythical fame after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- always anonymously. He is the mysterious "Henry" in the Sept. 11 commission report, which notes he persistently pressed the CIA to do more in Afghanistan before Osama bin Laden's terrorist spectaculars. Two key proposals to track al Qaeda were turned down.

Tapped to head the CIA's Afghan campaign after the attacks, Crumpton is "Hank" in Gary C. Schroen's "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan" and Bob Woodward's "Bush at War." Both books recount how Crumpton crafted a strategy partnering elite intelligence and military officers in teams that worked with the Afghan opposition to oust the Taliban. The novel and initially controversial approach worked at limited cost in human life and materiel -- and avoided the kind of protracted U.S. ground war that the Soviet Union lost.

It also changed the way the United States fights terrorism.


9/12/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If only Peter Sellers were still with us:
C ing there.
The Sequel.

9/12/2005 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

I am reminded of all those "Freudian" symbols that everyone suddenly noticed in High School, or about calculations showing the Great Pyramid had this or that occult meaning.

I am reminded of the Enola Gay Exhibit at the Smithsonian being turned into an anti-American, anti-war exhibit. I am reminded of the Internation Freedom Center at the site of the World trade center which proposes to depict the 9/11 attack as just another result of Americas long history of oppression of cultures whose values are superior or equal to ours. I am reminded of the removal of the cross from the Los Angeles County Seal by the ACLU while the image of the Pagan goddess Pomona was not an issue and remained on the seal. How can I conclude anything other than this is a deliberate finger in the eye of those of us who oppose the hate America first, multicultural crowd and who support the fight against the Global Islamist Jihad.

If I weren't so angered by it, I could almost laugh at the vignette in the link I posted in the previous thread:

Street Preacher from town near the memorial site: "It's a memorial to the terrorists It's not a memorial to the innocent Americans who died there."

Director of Andy Warhol museum and memorial jurist: "If the families of the 40 people who were killed felt this was an appropriate symbol to honor their loved ones, then I think he is delusional," he said. "To take this small-minded, bigoted view is disgusting and repellent."

Out of the mouth of (street) babes..

If you oppose the planned (and accepted) design for the memorial, let the National Park Service know.

9/12/2005 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/12/2005 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

At first glance, it looks like a tempest in a teapot. But c's argument seems convincing. Poets and other wordsmiths deliberately use words for effect. Code slingers use symbols for links and hidden easter eggs. Even product designers try to elicit emotion with their designs. Now it seems hard to believe Woltz and Co. didn't know what they were doing. Either to make a statement or for a smug laugh.

Now it seems audacious. "Crescent of Embrace." A crescent? A red crescent? Embrace of WHAT?

No, it's not accidental.

Does Ward Churchill do architectural design on the side?

9/12/2005 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm always reminded of a good stiff Pint whenever you post.

9/12/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/12/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

wordsmiths and code slingers
easter eggs and designers
statements and signers

If anyone's audacious,
it's thee.

(the designer in me made me do it)
(delete it and try again)

9/12/2005 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Actually, if you analyze the plan and take the radii of the semi-circle and pass it thru the center-line of the trees, amazingly enough, the axis created passes through six European capitals, Paris, Brussels (with the central tree of the semi-circle), Berlin, Stockholm, Madrid and Luxembourg; all coincidentally enough nations that opposed the US invasion of Iraq. In fact obviously this architect is running a diversion by making oblique allusions to Islamic symbolism through the use of the word “crescent” in the title of his work, while any sober geometric analysis of his work transubstantiates the true symbolism of his work into an obvious monument to the European Union. Of course the semi-circle are the six visible (i.e. anti-American) of the twelve stars of the woman of the apocalypse, who stands on the crescent of the moon.

And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars:

Red is after all the symbol for the EU’s dominant ideology – international socialism, not militant Islam.

This reminds me of the uproar over the use of the cross in the Oklahoma City bombing memorial, so many on the Left swore that by using cruciform imagry, the Christian Right would see it as a victory because their symbol was used to honor the many children and adults that these religious fanatics slaughtered.

I disagreed with the Left on OKC since I've always thought that a proud and confident people would never really bother to take two seconds to concern themselves with what their low-life enemies think about their memorials.

9/12/2005 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...


I'm always reminded of a good stiff Pint whenever you post.

LOL and thanks for the laugh. This memorial business has put me in a foul mood.

The actual source of my handle is a line from 'The Seven Percent Solution' - a modern novel based on Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. In it Holmes, Watson and Sigmund Freud are chasing Professor Moriarity across Europe. Moriarty is about to get away by train, when an enterprising Freud commandeers a train for the trio's use. Watson turns to Holmes and expresses his admiration of Freud's action by saying "Stout fellow!"

A bit long winded but now you know I am an Anglophile and Conan Doyle fan.

9/12/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Kevin!
Do you recall which thread that last post of yours was on?
That was great, as is this one.

Brothers from Biloxi to Brussels Unite!

9/12/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A bit long winded but now you know I am an Anglophile and Conan Doyle fan."
But we remain uniformed about your choice of Ale.

9/12/2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger Eleanor © said...

I was more astonished than angered. Another example of ignorance or even capitulation, or perhaps the architect doesn't care. Intentional or not, the symbolism does matter.

9/12/2005 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

no comment on maya lin
OR her design for the Vietnam Memorial...but...
anybody think it didn't make her career?

the memorial is *personal* for the creators.
you can be certain they thought long and hard about every aspect of it.
literal symbology.
plants changing with the seasons.
viewed from the gorund.
viewed from the air.

after all,when the dust clears,
it is a monument to the designers.
it’s the biggest,most visible commission they’ve ever had.
the most public noteriety.
be there for *ages*.

the issue of the crescent (and likely to result public objections) came up early and was dismissed by the designers out-of-hand as unimportant.
it was a forgone conclusion.

the designers don’t have the last word.

9/12/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Why thank you, Doug

Yeah it's not good to misspell your punchline. At least I didn't try a link. But I did use Stoutfellow's, and told them this:

It is hard to believe you would insult the families of the victims with a design that features the major symbol of their murderers.

Are you that cynical? Or just foolish?

9/12/2005 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Is a FemaHead worse than a D...Head?

9/12/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I did read the guy saying it was not tapered right?
And the picture clearly shows it is not.
...I could be mistaken, or misremembering, but I call him a
All else follows, imo.

9/12/2005 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


The Riyadh-Berkeley axis one? It was the 17th of July.

I’ve been going from deadline to deadline for half a year now but in a few weeks or so I will have a few months to concentrate on amusing you guys.

9/12/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

not not tapered, that is.
What is is, and all that.
A LIAR still the same.

9/12/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kevin 12:03,
We must relink that one.
Hope you are proud of it.

9/12/2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Doug, you don't even bother dumping your bads. And you laugh at me?!

In any case, why would the guy dissemble like that? Did he think it would go unnoticed? Notoriety perhaps?

9/12/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Medved just quoted the Mrs guv and the lady senator PRAISING Mike Brown!

...the day before the Levees broke.

FemaHead, indeed.
(Did seem kind of clueless, but NOT criminally negligent, like Nagin and the Guv.)

9/12/2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed .
Sorry for OT, but don't miss this one.

9/12/2005 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

The Crescent is insulting and repugnant. As others have noted its design was not by accident. The Firm responsible for the design is out of Los Angeles California and has others have noted several liberal foundations are main sponsors.

If you want to express your disgust over this insulting monstrosity you should contact your congressman and senators. Better yet, let Gale Norton of the Dept. of Interior; one of the most conservative members of the Bush Cabinet known your disgust.

9/12/2005 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Doug, you don't even bother dumping your bads. "
Total accountability.
(unless otherwise denied)

9/12/2005 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Wretchard's advice, I replicated his experiments, with my first stop at the architect's website. I can report this:

ALL of his projects point to Mecca! Especially the circular ones!

9/12/2005 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

back on thread, and right on.
I will desist.
Their argument seems to boil down to:
"We fooled the bereaved, you must be fools also, trust us."

9/12/2005 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I am myself quite fond, memorial-wise, of the chain-link fence about a mile from the site, to which visitors have attatched personal mementos and messages.

Public art (a category into which almost all memorials fall) brings to mind the humorous characterization of military music.

The ordinary American's response to Flight 93 is some mixture of sadness and deep admiration. The spontaneous memorial at the fence conveys this nicely.

Maybe permanent memorials are best put off til a war is concluded, hm?

9/12/2005 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Raoul Ortega said...

Swastikas were considered "good luck symbols" in the US, too. I've got several postcards from the 1900-1910 period in which they are labeled as such.

Recently there was a report of an apartment in NYC area whose inlaid wood flooring from the same era featured swastikas in the corners of the room.

9/12/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Sorry,the term "Crescent of Embrace" is not common usage,we speak of an "Arc of Embrace" and no mealy mouthed candy arsed architecturalese is going to obscure the fact that Crescent was not accidentally chosen as a title.

9/12/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

"Crescent of Embrace." A crescent? A red crescent? Embrace of WHAT? anybudee

no mealy mouthed candy arsed architecturalese is going to obscure the fact that Crescent was not accidentally chosen as a title. PeterUK

The term "Crescent of Embrace" conjures up jihad and the global embrace of Islam which jihadists seek. The most generous and stretched interpretation one could offer for the designer's wording is that the gentle contours of earth are now "embracing" the remains of both Americans and terrorists alike and all are at peace (are they?), and that we should resolve our grief and find solace in their death/murder (should we?).

In fact, it was the jet's impact with earth that obliterated all, and only because some brave passengers "embraced" their destiny by fighting terrorists back did they meet doom (and glory for our fighters). In a way, the passengers were "embraced" to death by both the Islamist red Crescent and the unyielding ground of earth, and they were forced to embrace death to defeat the terrorists' purpose. But there's nothing peaceable and comforting about embrace in this context. The site should memorialize the passengers' courage and sacrifice in defiance of a red Crescent and its deadly arms. They should be remembered for the vigorous spirit in which they died and with an intolerance for that which killed them. No crescent. No embrace. No it's "we're all in it together and we might as well find comfort in a red Crescent as anything, because it doesn't really matter in the end, once we're dead, that is.

9/12/2005 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Kevin, I don't think the line you describes passes through any European capital except Spain's.

Karl. I am not sure how you concluded all the architect's works were oriented toward Mecca. I could not find the orientation of his works from his portfolio.

These are large claims. I am only making the very limited claim that this Crescent of Embrace points in a certain direction which can be verified by following the steps taken. More than that, I can't say.

9/12/2005 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"they were forced to embrace death to defeat the terrorists' purpose."

- c

The hopeful idea wasn't simply to drive the plane and themselves into an empty patch of ground, thus sparing another target/landmark, but to take back control of the plane from the hijackers and bring it down semi-safely somewhere. That this did not succeed is the cause of sadness; that it was attempted is the cause of admiration.

In a few crucial moments, they embraced life, not death. It was their unwillingness to be passive victims, rather than any self-immolative impulse, that deserves dramatization and tribute in the form of a memorial.

[The hijackers, on the other hand, DID embrace death.]

9/12/2005 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ed T. said...

I say leave the crescent as it is with one minor addition; a nice ICBM in the center, pointing towards Mecca...

9/12/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Obviously this is not accidental. By law, Islam has no symbols. The crescent is their only one. Burn whoever proposed, designed, approved and now rationalizes this. Symbols, after all, are important.

9/12/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

We have gotten to an excess of "Memorialitis".

Gone overboard in our "Mournathons".

2000 acres of memorial? 40 wind chimes? A cost of 40 million - a million per "Victim-Hero"?

50 acres set aside for each, one square mile allocated for the weeping masses to commemorate every 12.8 "Victim-Heroes". Another bogus memorial that will be as well-attended as the 21 million dollar Oklahoma City Memorial, which at least gets the lunch hour crowd no longer creeped out by the place. Flight 93 is in the middle of nowhere.

The German Blitz bombing of England from Sept 1940 to May 1941 cost 43,000 deaths of heroic Brits. Applying our memorial overindulgence to them,

By the Flight 93 standard, their memorial should cover 3,360 square miles and the Brits should have a 43 billion dollar memorial.

WTC? 2.8 billion just for the memorial, with 217 square miles of NYC set aside as "mourning space" for America's Greatest and Nobleist Victims.....Ever!

It is telling that great heroes of the past set no stock on Kingly memorials to themselves. Roosevelt said a nice chunk of good NY granite with name and dates for himself and his wife sufficed. Modest sized plaques of crosses costing a few thousand give adequate honor and recognition to Civil War battlefields where thousands died. 2 acres and a 10 million memorial covers the Vietnam Vets.

Cresent or not, the Pennsylvania memorial is a symbol not so much of the Islamist sympathies of snide Lefty architects, but of the present triumph of the Cult of Victimhood and rampant, out of control Bush Administration pandering -spending freely with few restraints if it enhances temporary political power.

If they could have gotten away with it, the Bushies would pander to the Far Religious Right by borrowing a few million more from China and erecting a solid gold memorial statue to Terri Schiavo...but the whole thing turned into a royal fiasco they'd rather forget..

9/12/2005 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

As all architects can understand IMHO back to the drawing board on this one. Let a local architect/artist design the memorial in a local manner.

Oh by the by Cedarford are you feeling a bit collicky?

9/12/2005 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

The passengers who fought back may have been trying to save (their) lives, but they knew the deadly risks of trying. Too often people who believe they are embracing life are paralyzed with inaction and fear, and Flight 93 fighters knew very well that a struggle could be sure death for all, as opposed to waiting for some miracle salvation that others who cling to life might do. I agree with you that they wanted to live, but think they were even more determined to thwart the terrorists' aims of killing them and untold others, and embraced the consequences, come what may. Small distinction, maybe not worthy of words here, but I choose to believe they were willing to go down trying, as opposed to just failing and dying in their struggle.

Am quite impressed by how the monument designers sold jurists and Flight 93 families on a site plan that has a capital "C" Crescent as its most prominent and defining feature. A Crescent that, from September through fall as the sunlight hits it by day or the electrical highlighting by night, will glow with crimson and flaming red-orange and be luminescent. A blazing red Crescent that will Embrace and hug the honored dead who died at the hands of red Crescent jihadists.

9/12/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Karensky.Yes,he didn't mention Israel once!

9/12/2005 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger rayratemp said...

They CHOSE and NAMED it after the Crescent. Then chose an arc that exactly describes the angular measurement of the Islamic Crescent, tip to tip. COuld have used a half circle. Could have used an even smaller arc. Or a 3/4 circle. But they CHOSE an arc which MATCHES the reach of the Islamic Crescent.

Then they chose a plant whose leaves are Red at the time of the crash.

This is no coincidence. The CHOSE an Islamic symbol then dressed it up to slide it by.

9/12/2005 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

(Trish, my last comment was addressed to you.

You can lead a commenter to Preview, but you can't make her read it very carefully.)

9/12/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Too often people who believe they are embracing life are paralyzed with inaction and fear, and Flight 93 fighters knew very well that a struggle could be sure death for all"

- c

What they knew is that without a struggle they were doomed.

I'm afraid we are making, have already made, a fetish of sacrifice, of emiseration and death.

[How did WE ever end up with a Holocaust Museum, for crying out loud?]

9/12/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish, 5:09 PM
YOU'RE Doomed,
You were post 93.
We'll have a heck of a party for you though, and leave all junk as a memorial?
Your Call.

9/12/2005 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


It isn't "junk" that people leave in Shanksville. And I'm surprised, at the least, to hear you say that.

9/12/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Who needs an azimuth?Its ironic in an age of hyper sensitivity,where we simply must understand the rage of demon possessed medieval loonie tunes that the left is oblivious to how average American patriots think.
We're just a bunch of rubes to mock and lampoon.Burn our flags,desecrate our Christian altars,grind our heritage into the ground.
Meanwhile Akmal walks through airport security wearing a C4 backpack while the screeners fear the wrath of CAIR more than the wrath of AARP so grandma gets patted down.
A crescent on the site of the flight 93 heroic saga is sickening.What next a replica of the Mosque of Omar at the WTC?

9/12/2005 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If I were to write
"sex sex sex,"
Would that be a Symbol of some underlying pathology?
And would it be Hate Speech, since it so offends the tender sensibilities of our Radical Islamic Friends?
Do we CAIR?

9/12/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was talking about Beer Cans, Bottles, and etc.
Surprised you didn't recognize.

9/12/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or do you active duty folk not drink anymore?
Like I say, it's your call:
We can have Tea.

9/12/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

What next a replica of the Mosque of Omar at the WTC?

Trangbang68, how about a big black "Cube of Belief" that isn't symbolic of anything, but which would commemorate the WTC dead by centering a healing construct of Faith and Monolith in the midst of their ashes and to which we can all pilgrimage?

9/12/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Anyone know the religion of that Backhoe Driver in Los Angeles?
We won't talk about Backhoe Drivers in LA.
Escort Services have been scattered to the wind.

9/12/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

How about a statue of Rick Resorla or the NYFD guys running into the doomed buildings?Do that outside in a Plaza and build the buildings back like they were?
Maybe with a certain finger made of building debris pointed on a direct Azimuth toward Mecca .

9/12/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good idea, Trang,
And ex FBI Agent John O'Neill leading Babs Bodine, Joe Wilson, and his Secret Agent wife off in cuffs.

9/12/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

They DID Leave Bottles and Cans for John O'Neill! .

. John O'Neill

9/12/2005 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Cedarford, you actually made a fair point this time. It does seem to be the case that the size of this memorial is a sign of the victimary mentality running loose, one that the man who initiated a new post-victimary era with the cry "Let's Roll" surely did not have. How on earth could a crescent even be proposed as an appropriate symbol if those involved were not in various degrees immersed in the delusions of victimary thinking? We who would roll have more work to do.

Interesting choice of the London Blitz for your comparison, though. What I don't get is why you protest the cult of victimhood and at the same time play to it. Now if you could only get off of the Palestininans as victims kick. They are of course victims, but in large part of their leaders' desires to play the postmodern victim card. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

9/12/2005 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger viperDisorder said...

I am tired of these constant "memorials" why do we spend so much time crying over the victims. If I were a victim I would want payback not tears, especially if I left children behind.
Being a victim should not be honored but avenged.
Put the Trade towers back exactly as they were but 2 floors higher.
Place a howitzer and a statue of a marine in this "cresents" place.

9/12/2005 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

No, it is the triumph of Lefty snideness - and thus they should be imprisoned in lucite next to the actual memorial that gets developed, as a notice to the Fifh Column. (Hint: it ain't the Jews, C4.)

This pure malevolent intranational barbarism masquerading as "criticism" has to stop. It's almost reached critical mass as it is, thanks to the media, who have managed to turn a crowning civic virtue into a vice. Again, barabrism - of which we are all capable. Thus, lucite.

9/12/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"If I were a victim I would want payback not tears, especially if I left children behind."

So how do you get payback?

What do you do?

How many days, how many months, how many years hast it been?

9/12/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

I read endlessly here of marching on Damascus, of taking down the regime in Teheran or its fledgling nuclear capability, even of bombing Mecca. But hardly ever do I hear any concern for or interest in or alarm over the at-large status of OBL and Zawahiri.

It didn't even come up yesterday.

Why is that?

9/12/2005 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Because Osama is in Iran with Al-Zawahiri, and when Iran is neutered so will the Saudis be, who are the obvious target here, except that by God's Joke all the oil is there. Then we team up with India and take Pakistan apart, thus putting China into its financial-resource-strategic place. Or so goes the Risk game in my brain, anyway. Of course the problem is that this sentiment is much deeper and that world much bigger and more alien than decapitations can perhaps change, but you have to start somewhere. It's only polite, and the media "the people's surrogate" demand it.

Speaking of Zarqawi though let's see what follows Tal-Afar - I was hoping our guys would use Katrina as cover for something suitably brutal it would otherwise be disallowed according to the insisted-upon international etiquette. Shadows on Plato's cave utterly. Iraq needs a big dose of the Sun of Justice. Let's see what Tal-Afar brings up through people like Michael Yon.

9/12/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"How many days, how many months, how many years hast it been?"
Joan Baez?
My view is that it is not the choice of campaigns that could be improved, but the level of force authorized in pursuing them.

9/12/2005 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just read something two days ago in some obscure paper over there that we said no go to the Pakis on "peaceful nukes," and that India was an exception.
(Hard to believe it as I write it.)

9/12/2005 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Jordanian Military Court Sentences 12 Men for Terrorism Activities:

Abd Shehadah Hamid al Tahawi who headed the terrorist cell was sentenced to three years behind bars whilst the 11 other men each received 18 months. They are: Ahmad al Amer, Ahmad Karani, Muhannad al Bash, Saber Dbayj, Mohammad Shaalan, Imad Eddin Ali, Ahmad Jaradat, Hussein Sobh, Mohammad al Monasra, Mohammad al Hawarani, and Khaled Bashtawi.

The four suspects found innocent are Mohammad Hamad, Abdullah al Maani, Abdullah al Shamri and Ahamd Fayiz al Debk.

Jordanian security forces had arrested 16 suspects in August lead by al Tahawi who according to reports, adopted extremist ideologies during his stay in Saudi Arabia, between 1979 and 1990, during which he traveled to Afghanistan and underwent military training. He was caught in the Kingdom in 1990 and forcibly returned to Jordan.

9/12/2005 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What a bizarre war by the way whose first battle lasted 3 weeks and left the invading power with the capital city, facing an army that simply gave up or were fed up and went home. It's like if the von Schlieffen plan had been completely successful, even lacking 25% of its forces a la 4th ID. And now this muddled crap follows. What the hell is With that part of the world? This is exactly the same thing that happened in slow motion following the end of the Ottomans. They resist all modern impulses almost completely in this ancient but elusively comprehensive way.

Imagine if we built the crescent, then a bunch of patriotic Penssylvanians burnt it down, and it took a day to burn. And then it was broadcast to the Arabs and Persians and whoever via Al-Jazeera and Al-Aribya and the BBC. They'd take it as a beacon like Constantine received at the Battle of Milan Bridge (or whatever the name is). Now that would be some good geopolticial theater - maybe we should build it.

9/12/2005 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Believe it or not boys and girls, there WAS a connection between Iraq and Al Queda.

9/12/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Does it get that dry in PA?

9/12/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What're you saying there, Doug? Like the peaceful nuclear technology clause in the NPT? Or like nukes as strategic deterrents? HA - in which case it would mean we thought it was real important that India have the ability to be able to instanting annihilate strategically prostrate, dark, still religiously-preoccupied Pakistan? Hilarious. No wonder they felt threatened.

9/12/2005 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Let's hear you repeat that list out loud 3 times from memory.

9/12/2005 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Ahmad al Amer, Ahmad Karani, Muhannad al Bash, Saber Dbayj, Mohammad Shaalan, Imad Eddin Ali, Ahmad Jaradat, Hussein Sobh, Mohammad al Monasra, Mohammad al Hawarani, and Khaled Bashtawi.

See? Easy.

9/12/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

I guess that was only once. Maybe not so easy.

9/12/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pakis Want Nukes .
(this is not the obscure eastern paper!)
The Bush administration is working to persuade Congress to approve a deal that would ship civilian nuclear technology to India. In return, New Delhi would have to place its civilian facilities under safeguards of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency. On Thursday, two undersecretaries of state, Nicholas Burns and Robert Joseph, were to testify before a House International Relations Committee hearing on the India-U.S. nuclear agreement.

"Whatever legislation is made shouldn't be a specific, one-time affair just for India," Karamat told The Associated Press in a recent interview, "but should leave the door open for other countries that meet the same criteria and show good responsibility and satisfy the United States' concerns."

9/12/2005 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Doubts also have arisen about Pakistan's commitment to democracy.
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and has failed to resign as the army chief, as he promised to do."

Say it ain't so!

9/12/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just what we need:

9/12/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Pakistan has requested between 75 and 100 U.S. F-16 fighter jets, Karamat said, although the two sides haven't yet settled the specific number or cost. Two of the jets will be shipped in December, he said, but a price has not been determined."
Do we have Satellite/Remote Ignition Switch cutoffs on those?

9/12/2005 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"How many days, how many months, how many years hast it been?"
Joan Baez?

Yeah, Doug. Joan Baez would be wondering anxiously why it's been so f-in long that those almost 3,000 deaths have NOT been avenged by a couple of bodies on shiny metal tables.

Keep the faith, though.

9/12/2005 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


...all of this amounts to an ambitious program. Notwithstanding the highly sensitive nature of the subject - no other issue is more central to national sovereignty than the protection of national security - the role of the European Union in combating terrorism has grown significantly. Some might say: surprisingly quickly. In the near future the EU's coordinating responsibilities will be extended further to the protection of critical national infrastructure and civil protection. Still, two caveats are in order. The EU is not a federal state; the main instruments in the fight against terrorism, including police forces, judicial authorities and security agencies, will remain under the control of national authorities. The role of the EU, therefore, is not to replace its member states, but to coordinate their actions and to facilitate their cross-border co-operation, including in the field of foreign affairs. Second, while as a result of increased European co-operation Europeans today on the whole are better protected than a few years ago, Europe remains vulnerable. The terrorist threat has changed; it has not diminished. Much work remains to be done - internationally, at the level of the Union, and within each of the EU's 25 member states.

9/12/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

There are three possibilities about the motivation behind the Flight 93 Memorial, defiant symbolic appropriation, an honest mistake, and willful malice.

The easiest to dismiss is the defiant symbol, because:
A) there's nothing to suggest an angry patriot in his past or present,
B) there is no corresponding, overtly patriotic imagery, and
C) there's no corresponding defiant rhetoric from the Memorial Commission's camp.

An honest mistake could have been made. This would've been confirmed if he'd shown that he understood his error, and offered to correct it. Instead, however, he dug in his heels. Now, his ego may have gotten away from him. After all, his statements might lead one to believe that. Note his insistence that nothing was overtly meant by that. Also, note the condescending attitude of the Warhol Museum director.

Egomaniacs have a real problem with admitting fault, or error. So he(they) may be trying to brazen it out.


We've already been through NY Moonbats torpedoing a NY Firefighter's statue, on the grounds it wasn't 'racially inclusive'. We're in the middle of Moonbat's attempt to hijack Ground Zero itself. Their disdain for real Americana is well documented, in their own words no less. So, the precedent is there.

Architects have no excuse when symbolism blows up in their faces. Symbols are a vital part of their palette, and they tend to immerse themselves in symbology to inform and complete their project. I spent just enough time as an architecture student to know there is no way in Hell that's simply a string of coincidences. His replies could easily go the other way, and that's how I take them.

Then there's the collaboration that brought this all to light. Hat tips abound, especially to Ed Morrissey (Captain's Quarters), Michelle Malkin, and Charles Johnson's Little Green Footballs. From that site alone, Zombie helped bring the crescent to light, and Etaoin Shrdlu discovered the orientation to Mecca, and others pointed out that the families' prayer area is specifically aligned to Mecca. LesLein pointed out the predominance of Muslim - specific color schemes. Several others pointed out the mealy-mouthed nature of the "justification", along with the fact that the commission DID recommend a name change, which the architect dismissively, rejected. Several designers / relatives joined "c" to state their absolute disbelief in an accident.

Given the totality of evidence, I conclude this is a conscious slap in America's face.

9/12/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

I came to the same conclusion as did you. And looking at the site and its physical context, I am not surprised about the selection of the form. In fact, sweeping arcs have been a trendy feature of design for quite a few years.

There is something quite evocative about such a form in the landscape as perceived from the perspective of the human eye and rarely from the sky. Add to that the manifestation of that form with the red maple, and there is a bit of somber genius at play. If I recall from my trips to Lost Maples, there is a fiery brilliance about the red maple when isolated and contained... its contrasted fury comes to life for a brief instant at the beginning of the Fall. Even if that fury symbolically defines the spirit of Islam, it does so momentarily, only to dissolve into the skeletal remains of stripped glory stolen by the winter of discontent.

Perhaps I am being to gracious, but there is brilliance in that, I think. But, then I too am an architect.

9/12/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger dune runner said...

Well, if are going with the intentional idea, then don't forget the gateway to the place. The 'Tower of Voices'. Tall enough to be seen from the highway and containing those chimes to call you in. Hmmm, Tower of Voices...wouldn't that be a flowery name for a minaret?

9/12/2005 09:40:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

c said...

The term "Crescent of Embrace" conjures up jihad and the global embrace of Islam which jihadists seek. The most generous and stretched interpretation one could offer for the designer's wording is that the gentle contours of earth are now "embracing" the remains of both Americans and terrorists alike and all are at peace (are they?), and that we should resolve our grief and find solace in their death/murder (should we?).

I live in Virginia. I didn't understand how seriously chicken sh-t the muslims were until I started reading stories about them sacrificing sheep in the fields of some the more rural counties souh of here. sheesh they might as well daub themselves with menstrual blood for all the good sheep will do them.

Pretty offensive business. The USA does not want anymore of these heathen coming to the new world.

9/12/2005 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Joan had to stay anxious a REAL long time back when we were in for over a decade, and very busy (50k lives give or take) for almost a decade, and then she and her buddies gave a million or so more lives away.
At least she admitted it, but now she's back at it.
Some people never learn.
Hardly any ever tell the truth.
She did for a while, now she's back to thinking it's all about bin Laden?

9/12/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles, 9:46 PM
USA Doesn't
USA's Govt DOES.

9/12/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Good of you to remind me that those poor followers of Allah lie there also.
I forgot.
Mere children, really.
I forgot who said that also.

9/12/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Anderson Cooper:
He is a stew of emotion: dejection, regret, sadness, anger. “I was really affected by the bodies,” he says, his voice cracking. “I’ve seen a lot dead bodies before, and I’m not sure why these dead bodies affected me so much, but I sort of haven’t been able to stop thinking about them.”
When I ask what his life has been like for the past few days, he says, “I’m fine.” Long pause. “It’s a horrible story to cover.” Another long pause. “Frankly, I feel privileged to be here. I’m really . . . I don’t want to leave . . . Um . . . ” He starts to cry. “I’m sorry,” he says, “I’m going to have to call you back in a second.”
I've never seen him. I wonder if part of it was that it was our citizens in our country in a very ugly setting?
...Just like 9-11 in SOME respects.

9/12/2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Maybe this will cheer y'all up for a day.

I hope to see a transcript and comments afterwards.

9/12/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It is hard not to think of Cooper’s time in the South as a homecoming of sorts.
After spending so many years traveling to exotic places steeped in death and suffering as a way to deal with his personal losses, he’s now covering a story of unimaginable death—in his father’s birthplace

9/12/2005 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If they don't let her talk all over him, it won't be much of a contest.
But then if they do, it won't either!
"Huffington v. Hanson: War and Empire Debated "
VDH, guys and gals!

9/12/2005 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Turns out he's liberal scumbag, huh?
"But it was on the fourth day of coverage, at the most dire and terrifying moment of the crisis, that Cooper came unhinged. He was interviewing Mary Landrieu, the senator from Louisiana, who had a big, sweet, southern smile spread across her perfectly made-up face. In a no nanswer to one of Cooper’s questions, she thanked President Bush for his “strong statements of support and comfort.” Finally, Cooper boiled over. “I got to tell you,” he said, “there are a lot of people here who are very upset, and very angry, and very frustrated. And when they hear politicians . . . thanking one another, it just, you know, it kind of cuts them the wrong way right now. Because literally there was a body on the streets of this town yesterday being eaten by rats, because this woman had been laying in the street for 48 hours. And there’s not enough facilities to take her up. Do you get the anger that is out here"
He's got Mary on Board the Bash Bush Bandwagon real good now.

9/12/2005 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Night came, then this morning, then noon, and another sun beat down on a dead son of the Crescent City.

That a corpse lies on Union Street may not shock; in the wake of last week's hurricane, there are surely hundreds, probably thousands. What is remarkable is that on a downtown street in a major American city, a corpse can decompose for days, like carrion, and that is acceptable.

9/12/2005 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mr. Atos,
You could save that pic to your computer, and then upload it to blogger via the little picture button in blogger's editor and it would not mess up everyone's page loading with that extremely slow server it's on now.
Or you could put it on just about any other free photo service and it would be better than that server.

9/12/2005 11:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Picture for Mr. Atos .
You can link to it there if you can't get it somewhere else.

9/12/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The Anti-Terror, Pro-Israel Sheikh:

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community and a vocal critic of militant Islam.

FP: One doesn’t find many prominent Muslim clerics today who openly denounce suicide bombings, let alone suicide bombings against Israelis. Yet you are quite vocal about supporting Israel's right to exist. Tell us why, as a Muslim, you have come to this disposition and why you have received so much criticism from certain elements of the Muslim community for it.

Palazzi: As a scholar of Islamic Law, I believe that Islam permits wars under certain conditions, but strictly forbids taking military initiatives by individuals, groups or factions, strictly forbids targeting civilians and strictly forbids committing suicide.

FP: Thank you Sheikh Palazzi. Tell us, if you believe in the life of the soul after death, where does the soul of the suicide bomber go?

Palazzi: Everyone who dies while committing capital sins such as suicide and murder will enter hellfire, except for the one who repents before death catches him.

FP: Kindly relate to us your experience at the University of California in Santa Barbara on March 4, 2004, when you came on campus and denounced terrorism. Many Muslim students from the Muslim Students Association at UCSB tried to shout you down. What happened and what do you make of it?

Palazzi: In reality, those who opposed my visit at UCSB were a small group of students, mostly related to the local Muslim Student Association

9/13/2005 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

Islamic or not. It’s a rose garden – without thorns even. It’s bland, vague, uninteresting and without nerve – as most such official monuments are these days. Where is the unabashed hailing of your heroes? The derision of your enemies and celebration of their destruction? The faith and pride in own might and accomplishments? Even your liberty statue created by the French shows more daring that this, or the monument at Mount Rushmore, the statue of President Lincoln, etc.

The Vikings used to erect something they called a pillar of shame deriding foes whom dared not meet them in battle or had fought cowardly. You should erect a pillar of shame over Osama Bin Laden, the 9/11 terrorists and the rest of the Islamists ilk. Portray them as cowards, ridicule their faith and rejoice in their destruction.

Apparently the 9/11 leader Mohammed Atta (goat piss be on him) had some serious issues with pregnant women in particular and all women in general (they’re dirty!) – I think it would be appropriate if his grave was under the female loo.

9/13/2005 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

I think these words rise well above the level of satire:

Bush Unveils His Flight 93 Memorial Proposal
by Scott Ott

(2005-09-10) -- As Americans reacted in shock to the proposed 'Crescent of Embrace' memorial to Flight 93, which resembles the crescent trademark of Islam, President George Bush today unveiled a proposal of his own.

"The people who died in Pennsylvania fighting for control of United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, don't need a new memorial," said Mr. Bush. "In very real sense, they already have two memorials: We call them The White House and the Capitol Building."

Mr. Bush explained that since one of those two buildings was the likely target for the Muslim terrorists who hijacked the plane, "the fact that they're both still standing is a lasting tribute to the people who gave their lives fighting evil."

"Every time you see those white pillars or that gleaming dome," the president said, "remember the 40 Americans who volunteered in a moment to defend freedom with their own blood. Remember the ones who looked fear in the face and said, 'Let's Roll.'"

9/13/2005 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

I'm puzzled by 125 degrees azimuth. Stretching a USB cable across the globe, I'd expect something northeastward. Maybe it's a coordinate system confusion. To me,
zero is northwards, 90 is eastwards.

In fact 64 degrees magnetic is what a GPS suggests, after a certain amount of uncheckable work.

9/13/2005 03:01:00 AM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


I have no idea where the FreeRepublic poster got the 124 or 125 degree azimuth. That led me to expect that the 'pointing toward Mecca' thing was a crock. So I set about calculating things from first principles and was shocked to find that the crescent or its reciprocal (which amounts to the same thing, Great Circle) generally faces Mecca.

9/13/2005 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger tckurd said...

Other possible solutions if the writing campaign fails:

Insects: Loopers, spanworms, the gallmaking maple borer, maple callus borer, Columbian timber borer,and various scale insects are common damaging agents.
Disease: Butt rot, trunk rot fungi, heart rot, and stem diseases common in damaged trees.
Tolerant of water-logged soils and flooding; somewhat tolerant of ice damage.

Fire: Intolerant of fire; even large individuals can be killed by moderate fires. Postfire mortality relatively high for saplings, but as bark becomes thicker and more fire-resistant with age, mortality is much reduced.

9/13/2005 04:03:00 AM  
Blogger greer rants said...

I am offended at the color red. The color of blood and fire.

I am also offended that coincidence has no part of a decision by people totally aware of symbols.
Oh, Muslim terrorists did this, crescent no problem.

Suggest "Atta's Embrace" or
"Allah's Embrace" more appropriate.

I am over 35 and the Red and
the crescent shape also reminds me of that cold war,
happily forgotten by the Lefties, against the Reds
with that sickle symbol.

And finally, Ace has updates
and the pointing to Mecca was disclaimed by assertion that is actually pointed to China. Hmmmmmm Any Reds or
sickles there?

He could have used a partial
pentagon shape or more of a horseshoe. I don't give a darn about the "contours dictating". Doubt he would ever find contours that dictated a cross.

9/13/2005 04:37:00 AM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

Doug! Apologies to you and all. This is the first time I have had a problem with my pic server. I'm still trying to iron it out. Meantime, I'll just dump the pic altogether. Thank you for the suggestions.

9/13/2005 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Contours of the land, that is why Caterpillar builds dozers. To change the land to fit the needs of man.

Modern ways have done away with the shaming of our enemies, today we can not even name our enemies, for fear that we will shame them.

For if we shame them now, there will be a higher price to be paid, later, when appeasing them is deemed to be required.
You see the logic to that, I'm sure.
Two Millennium of 'turning the other cheek' has led to the baring of our throat.

9/13/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger El Gordo said...

Exactly right, rune. Even without the islamic connotations, this memorial has no spirit. Trees and wind chimes, bah! At best, it means nothing.

9/13/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

Suggest "Atta's Embrace" or
"Allah's Embrace" more appropriate.
-greer rants

"The Crescent of Atta's Embrace".

it heartens me to hear that there are a substantial number of
Americans unwilling to accept
what is clearly an attempt ast a thinly veiled,long enduring insult,
in place of a memorial.

as desert rat's post at 6:51
pointed to,
some people are actually
OFFENDED by heroism.

oh,to live in shame and submission!
what could be more NOBLE!!

to the designers:

offer your own throats.

9/13/2005 01:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Desert Rat said,
Modern ways have done away with the shaming of our enemies, today we can not even name our enemies, for fear that we will shame them.

For if we shame them now, there will be a higher price to be paid, later, when appeasing them is deemed to be required.
You see the logic to that, I'm sure.
Two Millennium of 'turning the other cheek' has led to the baring of our throat.
Was just listening to Tony Blankley on Medved.
He Has a new book out:
"The West's Last Chance"

Thinks we should have declared war on Islamic Jihad, and that Bush has had such a hard time articulating everything since is a direct and necessary result of our failure to do that.

Odd that many of us of simple mind and thinking we had common sense, were saying we should do that on the day of 9-11.

Then came the years of shaming US, the intellectual browbeating, etc etc.
Now here we are.
Bare throats begging for the Barbarians to like us.

He thinks Europe is starting to wake up, and thinks we should care, since it makes such a great and convenient breeding ground and launching pad for jihadi thrusts into America.

9/13/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Jesse Clark said...

It should be noted that red is not the 'official' color of Islam, but rather green. However, green trees are far too bland to make a memorial. Also, I'm not sure if this has been mentioned, but the 'Tower of Voices' does bear a strange similarity to a minaret....

9/13/2005 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger FOD said...

Inspired by the California architects, I've designed my own D-Day memorial

9/13/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Forklift said...

The design is an expression of immature politics, but I do love a well done allee. I could never see a good one as being bland.
However, red maples are shallow rooted and heave the ground dreadfully, making for an uncertain walking surface in their maturity. Yet the designers haven't given a botanical name, so it may work out.

9/13/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


I'd seen my first public debate earlier this year in Massachusetts when Prof. Hanson debated Prof. Edsforth. It was overwhelmingly Hanson's debate. I think your prediction for this one is right on.

9/13/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Clark and Dune Runner,

Since you both mention the Tower of Voices:

The official rendering of the structure is terrible and vague, looking more like a cell tower than how the designer describes it thusly: Tall enough to be seen from the highway, a Tower of Voices heroically marks the entry to the memorial site. Set on a raised platform of black stone, the tower houses a small chapel within its open shell that is finished with white glass mosaic tile outside and blue plaster inside to evoke the sky. The tower (hoists?) 40 silver metallic wind chimes, whose sounds evoke the memories of those who are honored.... The designer offers two too-arty seasonal views of the landscape from the tower: Snow and Spring.

Coincidentally similar to the proposed spire-tower, minarets traditionally are free-standing and placed at the entrances to mosque complexes and grounds; they serve as orientation points in the city or countryside and are used both as observation posts of the surrounding area and for broadcasting the call to worship. A minaret can easily be thought of as a "tower of voices", given the melodious chanting of its muezzin-criers, and its open-air wall-windows carry sound across the land as well as afford views of it. Mosaic and plasterwork are strongly characteristic of Islamic architecture, so too the use of heavenly/sky blue and infinity white. White minarets and white tile walls and courtyards are common in Islamic construction, and many modern Islamic buildings are clad in gleaming white tile. Stone platform foundations are Old World/ Islamic, and minarets are nearly always constructed on square, built-up foundations, rather than directly at grade-level.

Without access to detailed drawings or to even less stylized renderings, it's difficult to know whether other design elements in Murdoch's proposal are consonant with an Islamic theme. Some critics say that structures will be placed in the "star" position of the Crescent and Star motif that represents many Islamic countries. At any rate, the series of proposed walls and plazas would be interesting to investigate were better plans and elevations available. But there's no missing the obvious that the spiritually evocative Tower of Voices at the entry, together with the fiery September red Crescent emblazoned on the ground and defining the site (best witnessed from the air, chillingly enough) turn this proposed American battle memorial into some kind of a bizarre Islamic shrine.

The term Embrace is a whole nother comment in support of the above, but enough for tonight!

P.S. Clark, remember that maples are green in spring and summer.

9/13/2005 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Tulkinghorn said...


You state that the lining up on the great circle route pointing away from Mecca is the same thing as pointing to it.

But is it really the same? Could this not be read as a decisive turning of one's back (and backside) to Mecca?

I would prefer a memorial that ignored Mecca, but merely referencing Mecca should not be assumed to be an act of concession.

A deeper analysis would go into what the crescent signifies in the mind of the enemy jihadists. They do not use such a symbol, from what I understand, preferring the green flag signifying paradise or the black flag of revolt against secularism, as employed by the early Shia.

The crescent refers to the new moon at Eid, but as a symbol of Islam is relatively recent, perhaps as a refutation of the Crusaders' cross.

Why can't you ever find a semiotician when you really need one?

As a political symbol, the crescent is more a symbol of the Turks rather than the Arabs. I doubt the Jihadist Arabs think much of the Turks or care to be reminded of daily life under the latest caliphate.

If the Jihadists are going to read the green/red crescent as a pointed reminder that their countries ought to be run by a brutal, oppressive and secular colonial power, then I don't mind the crescent at all. Especially if is really a big buttock pointing at Mecca.

9/13/2005 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...


Perhaps the point of the proposed large Crescent is to (ridiculously or cynically) represent the gentle yet dominant Embrace of Islam and not the violent and forced-submission-at-the-point-of-a-bloody-scimitar Embrace of Islamism; the design could be referencing the global Muslim faith and not jihadist Arabs, per se.

But, even if you don't associate the Crescent with terrorists or believe they do, or attach any significance to the Crescent flag of the Ottoman caliphs and their extensive Islamic empire, the Crescent is still emblematic for many Muslim countries (Algeria, Azerbaijan, Comoros, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Uzbekistan, and Western Sahara) and other organizations, like the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which uses a red crescent on its flag and the International Red Cross in Muslim nations, which becomes the Red Crescent and whose flag is considered to generally represent Islam. Algerian Islamists in the early 90s used a red Crescent and Star on a flag, and there are many more examples too tedious to catalog.

Question is, why would a Crescent of Embrace of any color, and an oversized one at that, and ANY positive reference to Islam be appropriate for a memorial of innocents savagely killed by terrorists in the name of Islam and the Caliphate? Do the religious faiths of those murdered on Flight 93 factor as significantly into Murdoch's grand scheme as the religion of the terrorists appears to? Also, there's no denying that the green Crescent starts turning into a blazing red one in September, or might this be a coincidental and insignificant fact, though an intentional and integral feature of the design?

9/13/2005 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

Tulkinghorn said...

"i'm very confused."

no offense,mate.

9/13/2005 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger CavalierX said...

How the Liberals would howl if anyone suggested planting trees in the shape of a cross...

9/14/2005 03:02:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

The topic was on local Philadelphia talk radio on morning drive time. No mention of the orientation of the crescent towards Mecca. That may change as this info gets spread around more

9/14/2005 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Tulkinghorn said...


Points well taken. I did not mean to defend the artist, who to my mind commits a fundamental sin when he can not, or fails, to account for the range of meanings that can be easily attributed to his work. If he can't clearly explain how he thinks the symbols in his work are to be read then he is being more than careless.

Personally, I think the memorial should be to the bravery and sacrifice of the passengers -- their heroism transcends the particular conflict we are in now. Thus, it is inappropriate to make any reference to Islam, whether favorable or otherwise. That seems to be the consensus of the thread as well.

If the artist's range is too limited to avoid such a reference, whether clear or ambiguous, then he is just not up to the job. Toss the plans, and re-commission the work.

9/14/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

To me it looks like a great big stamp of the effects of Islam on the West:

"Islam caused this."

9/14/2005 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

andrew said...

To me it looks like a great big stamp of the effects of Islam on the West:
"Islam caused this."

11:39 AM

i could see that reading.

butwhere does it say:
"Never Again"??

and how does a memorial that simply says "Islam caused this"
not glorify the attempted killers,
rather than honor the courageous

9/14/2005 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

butwhere does it say:
"Never Again"??

and how does a memorial that simply says "Islam caused this"
not glorify the attempted killers,
rather than honor the courageous

Weird questions, and I'm not sure how to answer them or if they were meant to be rhetorical.

Maybe I should clarify. To me the "crescent of embrace" is a reminder of what kind of embrace we can expect from islam, although I doubt it was meant that way.

9/14/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Alec Rawls said...

Note that the copse of trees in the mouth of the crescent sits roughly where the star sits on an Islamic flag. That is, it biscect the crescent. If you extend the Mecca line through the center of the circle that the crescent partly enscribes, it goes through the copse a little bit above center, which is pretty precise, given that the copse is both relative small and fairly indistinct in shape. So add that additional data point into your calculations. Not only is the orientation directly away from Mecca (an outward embrace of Islam is the implication, i.e. Jihad), but the Crescent composes a complete Islamic flag, crescent and star.

I have posts adding in the copse-as-star angle here and here.

I find it interesting that, as Wretchard discovered, landscape architect Nelson Byrd Woltz has incorporated crescents in earlier projects. Could he be an Islamist sympathizer?

SOMEBODY did this. The crescent, the orientation towards Mecca, and the star, is too much to plausibly be anything but intentional. Without knowing anything about the lead architect Paul Murdoch, there is no reason initially to suspect Murdoch over his subcontractors. But a subcontractor with a history of building crescents into Presbetyrian landscapes seems a likely candidate.

9/14/2005 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

"Weird questions, and I'm not sure how to answer them or if they were meant to be rhetorical.

Maybe I should clarify."

no,my questions weren't rhetorical,'s my clarifications:

if the message of the winning entry is that vague,i don't think the
heroic passengers have been memorialized nor has the
importance of their deeds been remembered as an alert or model
for americans still alive.

i think part of the reality
of art is that literal expression
is usually dull,usually boring.
poetry often makes use of symbols,metaphor,allusions...
and we infer the mood, the ideas,
and then for our own conclusions.

a certain amount of ambiguity involves the onlooker in the art,the sculptural object,film,painting,
etc....and could also involve the on-lookers in the memorial.

unfortunately in this case,
the ambiguity functions more on the level of Denial(that these are indeed islamic symbols: the crescent-form,the maudlin choice to call it a "Crescent of Embrace",
the minaret-form covered in ceramic tiles,the orientation to qibla)than it does on a level encouraging learning,thought,or contemplation...
let alone something as un-PC as righteous anger.

the great lesson of this event,that we cannot afford to lose is that:

Terrorism(in this case Islamic Terrorism) CAN be defeated.

We do not have to be led like sheep to slaughter.

And we certainly don't have to glorify the ideology of the
murderous hijackers in the memorials we agree to build as a people.

9/14/2005 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe said...


"poetry often makes use of symbols,metaphor,allusions...
and we infer the mood, the ideas,
and then form our own conclusions."

9/14/2005 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

"if the message of the winning entry is that vague,i don't think the
heroic passengers have been memorialized nor has the
importance of their deeds been remembered as an alert or model
for americans still alive."

Thanks for that Gumshoe, I see what you are saying. I understand, and share, the fear that the deeds of those heroic passengers will be forgotten. In my opinion though, the very location of the site will stand as testament to their deeds. Islam caused the horror, American heroism caused it to be reduced, in this case, to the obscurity of a field in the middle of nowhere.

Actually I'm a bit surprised that the various Muslim groups in the US haven't raised a stink about the crescent being used in a memorial to the victims of terrorism.

At any rate I understand that the design is now being reworked so we will have to see what comes of it. No matter the physical characteristics of the memorial though it will fall to individual to interpret what it "means" regardless of what the designer intended.

A thought though, I've never been to any of the Nazi concentration camps, has the swastika been removed from them? Should they or should they be kept as a reminder of what the swastika represents?

9/15/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Jesse Clark said...

Regarding the red maples being green in spring and such, I did not know that. I live in an area sadly devoid of them, but I have seen pictures!

9/15/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

"A thought though, I've never been to any of the Nazi concentration camps, has the swastika been removed from them? Should they or should they be kept as a reminder of what the swastika represents?"

i personally haven't been to any of the camps either,andrew.

to my knowledge,and from pictures i have seen of the contemporary state of the sites,there are no nazi insignia present on the grounds.
(tho there may well be,in the on-site museums and photographs
they hold.)

but i have no doubt if you were to visit the camps,knowing about their history,there would be no need whatsoever to see an actual swastika on the site, to understand what you were seeing:

-the barracks
-the ovens
-the zyklon-B gas chambers
-the train tracks and unloading platforms.

no,the presence of one or more swastikas would not be helpful in contemplating the camps,imo.

and don't compare apples and oranges here either:

the camps are "artifacts"
in the sense they are evidence and remnants of the actions of the nazi regime...the camps were *not* originally built as "memorials".

the Flight 93 memorial on the other hand is *not* an "artifact",
it is a "creation".

and a "symbolic creation" at that,
which is the very nature of a memorial.

PS - you should look up
the underground V2 rocket factories
to get a view of the nature of the nazi labor/death camps,
the scale of the undertaking
and the stories of the captives
and how they were worked/starved to death
will silence you.


here's a link to
"The Camps Today":

here's a link to the story of the
Mittelbau-Dora (underground V2 factory)Camp:

Mittelbau/Dora Today - After 50+ Years

9/15/2005 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Whether the crash site is an artifact or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is a site of historic importance, not soley for the acts that took place there, but for WHO perpetrated the acts. Just as the death camps are important not just for the ovens and the fences but for who ran them.

9/16/2005 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

Andrew said...

"Whether the crash site is an artifact or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is that it is a site of historic importance, not soley for the acts that took place there, but for WHO perpetrated the acts. Just as the death camps are important not just for the ovens and the fences but for who ran them."


i don't know andrew,
but i think it helps to have a good sense of "before" and "after"
with regard to the planning and execution of the Memorial,
which is what we're discussing here.


-the hijackers made their plans
-boarded the planes
-launched ther attacks on the pilots
-were resisted by the passengers of Flight 93
-the plane went down in a PA field

the field,with its scars,the wreckage of the plane,the physical remains of the passengers...those *are* all *artifacts*.


-a committee is organised to solicit proposals for a Memorial to be built on the site

at this point,the Intepretation and Symbolizing of the events and their Meaning begins.

-qualified architects/sculptors/designers
create their entries (with their chosen sets of symbols and expressions) and submit the
to the committee for selection

how the entrants *choose* to
interpret and symbolize thozse events is a matter of Expression.

indeed they will create a new set of *Symbolic Artifacts* to embody their *Expression*.(Ex: a crescent of trees,a tower with wind chimes,etc.)

-the committee presents the winner to the public

-the public voices its
indifference,enthusiasm or
vehement objection.

-the proposal gets canned,altered,or
moves on to the constuction phase.

Notice that public response is in regard not to the events,the artifacts,the field in PA,
but to the Creations of the design contest entrants.

PC oriented people would say all interpretations have equal value.

People with a patriotic orientation
would disagree.

PS - i think you've chosen a
highly loaded example (the Death Camps) to explore this issue...
and i also think you're a little obtuse about the Camps as well.

anyone,at least any Adult,
who isn't mildy (or otherwise )
on the side of Holocaust denial
has no doubt who built and manned and ran the Death Camps.

to create a 9/11 memorial that honors the dead American heroes,
but declines to stoop to attacking the Islamic jihadis thru symbolism,
would not,on that account,be a failure,imo.


9/16/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger andrew k said...


Perhaps you can do me a minor favor and refrain from insulting me in your posts. My intention here was not to enter into an argument, but rather to point out what the proposed memorial said to me.

That being said, I think you are lacking a certain degree of longsitedness in your replies. Of course you and I and anyone reading this blog knows who operated the death camps and what the swastika "means", as we do with the Flight 93 Memorial. Is that true of everyone and will it always be true? Without explicitly showing who is responsible how will the who portion of the story be commemorated and retained for history?

To me the memorial site says not only that the act was perpetrated by Islam but that the "embrace" was shunted (through bravery and initiative of individual private citizens) to the obscurity of a field in the middle of nowhere and stands in stark contrast to the flights where the passengers didn't resist.

Could it have been done differently? Sure. Should it have been? Maybe. Maybe there should be more explicit emphasis on the heroism to satisfy those unwilling or unable to understand the symbolism of the site taken in it's entirety. Then again maybe there is something in the details on the ground that does just that that has been overlooked because of the senstive nature of the subject matter and the unwillingness of the artist to reveal what they were really thinking.

Sorry that my interpretation offends you so, this will be my last post on the subject.

9/19/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger RCM said...

Enjoyed the analysis and I find no significance in the 124.8 degreees figure either. Without adding to the conspiritorial aspect of the possible explanations, here is what I found most interesting: If one assumes a crescent was thrown as a weapon from one adversary at another (as in a boomerang), its most damaging result would be if the points of the crescent were very sharp, and if they impacted the adversary with both points landing against soft flesh, the damage would be the most great.

Interestingly, if one looks at the great circle path FROM Mecca, it is clear that the crescent lands in America with the two points sticking in the ground. I find that an even more ominous coincidence than the one addressed in the article.

9/19/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Sonny said...

Don't you see? the 124.8 sequence of numbers are set up in such a way that each digit is TWICE that of the preceeding one! 1x2=2, 2x2=4, 4x2=8... get it?

It's a PLOT, I can SMELL it! Those damn elitist New York city architects are trying to pull a FAST ONE over on us.

What, do they think we're STUPID?

Something to do with MULTICULTURALIST ANTI-AMERICANISM, no doubt.

1/05/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger roger said...

1/12/2006 08:01:00 PM  

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