Flight 93 Memorial

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Postby barfle » Wed May 30, 2007 2:44 pm

Shapley wrote:I didn't realize that there was already a memorial there - a small fence, a cross, and a couple of flags - erected there by the nearby community, which is to be torn down under the new governmental design.


There is a National Park Service memorial at the site. The public is invited to present their wishes at a meeting of the task force on July 28.
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby jamiebk » Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:33 pm

Here is an update on the plans for this memorial:

Despite Dispute, Work Continues on Flight 93 Memorial
September 10, 2007
Amy Worden


SHANKSVILLE, Pa. - Architect Paul Murdoch stands atop the filled-in crater where United Flight 93 crashed on 9-11, surveys the barren mountaintop bowl surrounding it, and sees a vivid image rooted in his childhood: blazing red maple trees hugging the bowl's rim to honor the passengers and crew who died here.

Tom Burnett, father of passenger Tom Burnett Jr., looks at that same arc of maple trees for the Flight 93 National Memorial and sees a red crescent - a symbol of Islam. Because of that association, Burnett calls the design "tainted" and vows to keep his son's name from the park's memorial wall.

The dispute over the design, which started after the winning entry was announced in 2005, was reignited by Burnett last month, before the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

But even so, plans are quietly taking shape for a grand tribute to honor the 40 men and women who lost their lives in what, many believe, was the first battle in the war on terror.

Since its designation by Congress in 2002, the park in southwestern Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands has been troubled by slow fund-raising, threats to its federal funding, environmental hazards, and difficulty buying the land.

Still, supporters are confident the park will open on Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attack.

When done, the memorial will hold a unique place in National Park Service history.

"There has never been a National Park Service area designed through an international competition as an entire unit before," said John Reynolds, chairman of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission and a former regional park service director.

Scarred by decades of coal mining, the landscape has a stark beauty that shifts with the high-altitude weather.

Here the forest was stripped, leaving a barren field and acid ponds of mine waste. The most prominent landmark, a huge rusted drag line, towers over the site.

To Murdoch, a Los Angeles architect whose proposal for the park was selected from more than 1,000 entries, the raw, industrial landscape - disfigured again by the terrorist attack - is integral to the story.

"The violation to the land is part of its history," said Murdoch, while giving a reporter in July the first media tour of the site. "The character of the land is integral to the experience of the memorial park."

Murdoch sees his approach, with its massive use of native trees and plants, as a path toward healing the land and, with it, the spirit of a wounded nation.

His plan encompasses 1,300 acres of the park (the remaining 900 acres will be a buffer zone to prevent development). It features elements rich with symbolism and crafted to blend with nature.

A carillon, 93 feet high, called the Tower of Voices will mark the entry. Its chimes will represent the voices of the passengers, whose gripping last words to loved ones captured the terror of their final minutes.

"Their last memory was voices on the phone," said Murdoch.

Two 40-foot-high walls - the altitude of the Boeing 757 just before impact - will open onto a viewing area of the "sacred ground," the final resting place of those on board.

A visitors' center will house artifacts collected at the site and exhibits on the attack.

"We wanted a design that would tell the story for succeeding generations about what happened that day, not just for those who lived through it," said Ed Root, who served on the final competition jury and whose cousin, Lorraine Bay, was a flight attendant on the plane.

"You can't tell the Shanksville story in a vacuum. You have to tie it in to what happened everywhere else, and do it in a setting that takes advantage of the landscape and beauty of the area."


Murdoch, 50, a Pennsylvania native, counts as influences childhood trips to Philadelphia historic sites and the work of that city's renowned architect, Louis Kahn.

But his vision for the park was aided by a different memory: a family camping trip in the 1960s to the area.

"I remember the drama of the landscape," he said. "One of the things I remembered as a kid was color in autumn. Of course, the middle of September was the time of the (terrorist) event."

Until now, Murdoch has primarily designed public buildings that use unique features of their environment.


In considering his entry for the Flight 93 competition, Murdoch said he sought to bring intimacy to a large-scale landscape through a series of frames highlighting natural and historical features, such as the sky and the flight path.

But controversy erupted almost immediately upon his selection. Conservative columnists, talk-show hosts, bloggers and U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., seized on what they perceived to be Islamic influence in the design, even sympathy for the terrorists - mainly, the crescent shape of the plantings, painted autumn red in drawings.

Since then, some critics have backed off, but Burnett wants an investigation.

"When we talked about the design, it was clear it was riddled with Islamic symbols," said Burnett, whose 38-year-old son helped lead the attack on the hijackers.

"My son Tom led that effort to take the plane back," he said, "and he should not have his name bastardized."

Murdoch takes a Zen-like approach to his critics, calmly pointing to the use of the crescent in many cultures and architectural styles. He said the memorial design is a reflection of the area's topography, the flight path, and the location of the impact site.

Murdoch said he tried to respond to the concerns by adding more trees to nearly complete the circle.


Reynolds said the park service consulted Islamic experts who saw no Islamic references in the design.

"I feel badly that (Burnett) has bought into the conspiracy theory," he said, "because none of it is true."

Joanne Hanley, the park's superintendent, said, "The NPS will build the memorial as designed."

But Burnett says unless the design is scrapped, he will withhold the use of his son's name, which historians say would leave an unacceptable hole in the story of Flight 93.

"Future citizens," said Reynolds, "have a right to know the names of those on the plane."


A long road lies ahead before any ribbons are cut here.

In all, 60 acres in the 1,000-acre heart of the park have been acquired, although officials say negotiations with major landholders are progressing, and fundraising is $17 million shy of the $58 million needed.

Supporters remain firm in their belief that the park will open, even if incomplete, in four years.

After all, they say, these were the citizen heroes of 9-11. Since that heartbreaking day, hundreds of thousands of people have taken a 15-mile detour off the Pennsylvania Turnpike to pay them homage.

Many visitors leave something behind - a baseball cap, a flower, or small message. Because no official place exists to hold their thoughts, they write on whatever is available. The parking-lot guard rails are covered with their words: "We will never forget."

The unarmed passengers and crew - among them a retired special-ed teacher, an arborist, a software salesman and college students - defeated the hijackers' plot to use their plane as a missile to attack Washington.

"This was an act by 40 heroes, one of the most selfless acts in the history of the country, not a grand military campaign," Murdoch said, in describing his effort to build a memorial that is both bold and understated. "These were everyday people who did something extraordinary."

(c) 2007, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Mclatchy-Tribune News Service.

http://enr.construction.com/news/others ... ntentSet=0
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby piqaboo » Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:47 am

IMO, error #1; filling in the crater
the filled-in crater where United Flight 93 crashed on 9-11,


Um? As measured from where? In the seconds before impact, that plane covered rather a range of altitudes. Are the measuring from the top of the plane to the ground when the plane was 1" above impact? Am confused.
Two 40-foot-high walls - the altitude of the Boeing 757 just before impact -


and finally, the stankign crescent. If its a crescent, its stupid to keep it under the circumstances. The swastika had a long and honorable life pre Nazism, but it would be ridiculous to use it in plenty of circumstances today.
And yet, if its the crescent that bothers folks, the offer to make a nearly enclosed circle should make them happy again. So what's their real beef?

I do hope the design will be modified to handle people's clearly demonstrated need to leave bits and pieces of things, and to write notes.

Not in any way to diminish the people who were on that plane, but this whole effort seems contrived, and because its going to take so long, it seems inappropriate. They've got 60 of the intended 1000 acres? Oh dear. 60 should be plenty and then some.
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby jamiebk » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:19 pm

I don't disagree that there are a lot of issues to be dealt with here. I thought the same thing about the "40 foot wall"...doesn't make sense. These are all someone's interpretation and unfortunately, that is left up to a design architect. Sometimes these people just see things that aren't there to the average Joe. They need to keep that in mind. What may be symbolic to them, may be very different from what is symbolic to the masses. Any memorial is so deeply personal that it is hard to take such a publicly designed form and make it apply to all. In this sense, most large scale memorials are "contrived". We probably have to accept the design and then find some way to personalize the memory...if only to walk the paths and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounds that will not be developed.

PS...and I do strongly agree with you that the crater should not have been filled in....it should be at the center of the design. It is sacred ground where many died. The memorial should have been designed around it.
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Shapley » Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:03 pm

Flight 93 Families Ask Bush To Okay Land Seizure For Memorial

Let us honour these souls by stealing the land on which they died from its' rightful owner, as a tribute to the spirit of America... :roll:
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:29 pm

Shapley wrote:Flight 93 Families Ask Bush To Okay Land Seizure For Memorial

Let us honour these souls by stealing the land on which they died from its' rightful owner, as a tribute to the spirit of America... :roll:


Something we are seeing entirely too much of lately.

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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Shapley » Thu May 07, 2009 11:45 am

Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby jamiebk » Thu May 07, 2009 3:34 pm

On what basis does one "condemn" open land? The government has always had the right of eminent domain, but that usually has to be for something in the public interest. Not sure this qualifies...
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Shapley » Thu May 07, 2009 3:43 pm

jamiebk wrote:On what basis does one "condemn" open land? The government has always had the right of eminent domain, but that usually has to be for something in the public interest. Not sure this qualifies...

The Constitution allows the taking of land for "the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings". Unfortunately, everything now qualifies as a "needful building", even when there is no building at all...
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:19 pm

Families want Congress to Approve $3.7 million for Flight 93 Memorial

I think I've made it no secret that I think the planned memorial is extravagant. Now, in light of the current economy, it is entirely needless. They've raised about $20 million in private funding, Congress has already allocated $10 million, and the State of Pennsylvania has authorized $18.5 million. Let them use that to build the best memoral $48.5 million can build, and forget the oversized project about which they dream.
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:02 pm



Stealing is illegal. Anyway, there's nothing at the link now.
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Re: Flight 93 Memorial

Postby Shapley » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:12 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:


Stealing is illegal. Anyway, there's nothing at the link now.


Yes, links tend to dissappear over time, that was an old post. If I remember correctly, the article linked said they were using eminent domain to seize land that owners did not wish to sell. Theft is theft. Legalizing it only makes it legalized theft. There are governmental laws and there are moral laws, and they don't always coincide. We accept that there are exceptions: the same God who carved "Thou shalt not kill" in stone also sent his chosen people to war, and he didn't give them rubber bullets. So, we are left to use our free will to determine when those exeptions are justified and when they are not. My free will says this on is not.
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