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Flight 93 Memorial: Controversy
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***scroll down for updates***

The Flight 93 Memorial design, titled “The Crescent of Embrace,” was unveiled this week.

Take a close look:


Remind you of anything?

Tom Bevan at the indispensable Real Clear Politics gently raises some questions about the design.

Charles at Little Green Footballs asks: “Is this a coincidence, an example of amazing cluelessness, or something more deliberate?”

Zombie has more.

What do you think?


A 15-member jury made up of family members, community members and design professionals was tasked with making a final recommendation on the design. Five finalists were selected from 1,011 designs.

[Architect Paul] Murdoch’s design still must get the approval of the director of the National Park Service and the secretary of the Interior.

By unveiling the design in Washington, organizers hope to garner more publicity for their campaign to raise $30 million in private money for the project. The fundraising campaign is being co-chaired by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who was the first Homeland Security Secretary, and retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who oversaw operations in Afghanistan and Iraq after the terrorist attacks.

The state of Pennsylvania has already donated more than $10 million for the memorial. A projected date for the opening has not been set.

Bryan Preston: “What next–a holocaust memorial in the shape of a swastika?”

Ed Morrissey: “Can you imagine the outcry from the multiculturalists and the ACLU had the design incorporated a cross or a Star of David in honor of the victims? Why should we tolerate the Crescent that, inadvertently or deliberately, honors the terrorists?

As long as that crescent remains in the design, I’m not donating a red cent to the memorial. I urge you to tell the National Parks Service and the Secretary of the Interior to rethink their plans.”

Update: Here’s more info on all five finalists in the design competition. And here’s the official Flight 93 Memorial website.

Here’s the website of “Crescent of Embrace” designer, Paul Murdoch. His statement of philosophy:

“A primary task of this generation is to create new patterns of development that sustain human habitation on this planet. Towards this end, the principles adopted for our practice are intended to ensure that each project contributes to an overall goal of environmental responsibility while striving for design excellence.

As architects, we are uniquely qualified to help formulate and translate policy into tangible form; mitigating pressures of urbanity with the need to heal the natural environment. Each design solution is seen as a contribution to the human condition; as it exists today and evolves into future generations.

Our goal is to define and study problems both in terms of clients’ direct needs and relative to long term effects on natural and man made surroundings. More than problem solving however, we aspire to emotionally affect and uplift our lives through poetry and beauty.

It is through these transcendent qualities that we optimistically strive for ways to enrich life and fulfill our original purpose for engaging in the practice of architecture.”

Update II: Reader Jim K. writes: “Looks like a memorial for the hijackers–not the victims! Incredible!”

Arthur Chrenkoff reviews “The Flight That Fought Back”–a Discovery Channel documentary airing on Sept. 11 that properly commemorates the brave passengers of Flight 93.

Related post 7/22/04: “Shall we finish it off?”

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Flight 93