Peace through victory - the American way.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

No Healing Until The Last Islamist Enters The Gates Of Hell.

The design chosen for the Flight 93 memorial has started a controversy in the blogosphere.(Here.) The "Crescent of Embrace," as the design is called, has a crescent of maple trees partially encircling the "Sacred Ground," the field where the plane crashed and the passengers came to their final resting spot. (Here.) Many are angry at the design because of its resemblance to Islam's lunar crescent. (Here, here, here, here.)

This is an unfortunate controversy because the overall design is superior and creative in the way it blends the memorial architecture with the natural terrain. But who can blame the critics for their anger? The crescent shape is reminiscent of the Islamic symbol and that is an inappropriate image for the Flight 93 memorial. Flight 93 was America's only victory on 9/11. On that flight ordinary American citizens banded together and stopped the Islamists who had hijacked the plane from completing their mission. The Americans who fought and won that day were not fighting a holy war on behalf of their religion, but the terrorists who hijacked the plane were fighting what they believe is a holy war on behalf of Islam. They may have been misguided and they may not have been supported by most Muslims but there is no denying the religious motivation of the Flight 93 hijackers.

It is wholly inappropriate therefore to use a symbol of Islam as the shape for a memorial to the sacrifice of the American citizens who won that day. Just what is the memorial commemorating? Is it the victory and sacrifice of the Americans who won that day or the Islamists who lost?

And another thing. Why is the memorial a crescent of "embrace?" Why is the theme of the memorial one of "healing?" To quote the official description: "The healing of the landscape prepares the visitor, as a metaphor, for the emotional healing of the memorial." Just what is the memorial supposed to heal? This so-called War on Terror the United States is fighting is not over. "So called" not because it's not a real war but because the enemy is the political ideology of Islamism not the tactic of terrorism. But I digress. The point is that the war is not over. The battle of Flight 93 might be over but the war is not. When we win this war, then we can heal. But until we win this war, we should maintain a fighting anger. Healing the wounds we suffered on 9/11 is not going to help us to do that.

For that reason one of the losing entries, "Disturbed Harmony" would be a more fitting memorial with its granite "Bravery Wall" that crosses a "Field of Honor" and ends at the "Circle of Heroism." Read these paragraphs from the official description (here):
"The full length of the Bravery Wall, crossing the ‘Field of Honor,’ conveys the magnitude of loss of human life on September 11th, as one imagines 3,021 people standing hand-in-hand, stretching the Wall’s entire 11,000-foot length across the landscape. An anniversary walk will transform this line in the landscape into a ribbon of life, as participants remember those lost, learn about Flight 93, learn about the Heroes, acknowledge their sacrifice and heroism in the face of infamy, and gain a better understanding of the enduring human spirit.

The hard rock qualities of the granite used in the Bravery Wall blocks are a fitting testimonial to the strength exhibited by those aboard Flight 93. We propose an earth-toned granite, similar in color to the local fieldstone that will blend with the environment and withstand the harsh site conditions for centuries to come.

As Heroism is the outcome of Bravery, the Bravery Wall ends at the Circle of Heroism. The Circle of Heroism symbolizes the 40 individuals coming together in an act of collective courage that would change history. Forty stone columns have been carefully located within a setting of stepped terraces, with views across the meadow to the Sacred Ground. Annual events in the space will encourage us to reflect upon the Heroes’ connectedness and celebrate our own, while acknowledging them and ourselves as individuals."

The "Crescent of Embrace" entry should be rejected and the "Disturbed Harmony" entry deserves a second chance. Contact the National Park Service and tell them so. (Here.)




Anonymous Anonymous said...


Concerning the Flight 93 memorial; I read your email that was posted to Michelle Malkin's website and wanted to thank your for bring the "Disturbed Harmony" design to my attention. I put it mildly, I was disgusted at the accepted design. Once again thanks for the info.

Chip in Enid OK

11:29 PM


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