Posted by Curt on 16 July, 2006 at 9:08 pm. 1 comment.


Mike at Mike's America reminds us that the Flight 93 memorial controversy is still on-going.  

Last year after the design committee released the final design of the memorial there was quite an outcry.  I wrote then:

How in the world could the 15 people chosen to pick a suitable memorial design for the heroes of Flight 93 have picked a design that reminds EVERYBODY of the red crescent of Islam? Is this a joke?

The blogosphere is up in arms about this winning design to be placed on the Flight 93 memorial, as it should be. Putting our enemies symbol on top of the graves of these heroes is repulsive and then calling it the Crescent of Embrace? WTF! Are we embracing the terrorists? This is the ground where we obtained our FIRST victory in our war against the terrorist’s and they want this on that hallowed ground? Unbelievable.

Typically the left is shrugging their shoulders and telling us all that we’re seeing things that are not there:

Nope, no similarity there….sigh

Can they not see that this kind of things is fine on any other piece of land rather then on top of the graves of these heroes? You want to set up a cultural center, then do it, but not here!

Well the design committee finally decided to make some changes, and what changes they were.  They added a few trees and told us all was fine now: (via Error Theory)

When controversy arose over the giant naked crescent back in September, the Memorial Project agreed to make changes. A Bowl of Embrace redesign was announced in November where the sole change was the addition of some trees on the west side of the crescent:

Figure 4. Left: Crescent of Embrace with tip-line and bisector. Right: barely modified Bowl of Embrace redesign.

The only change from the Crescent to the Bowl is some re-coloring of the image, and the addition of some trees that extend the tree line from the top of the crescent further around to the left. These additional trees do nothing to affect the presence of the original Mecca-oriented crescent because the upper crescent tip never was defined by trees.

As can be seen in the image on the left, the upper tip of the original Crescent of Embrace was the end of the vast, curving, thousand foot long, forty foot tall, Entry Portal wall. This wall structure is unchanged in the redesign. The bottom crescent tip (the last red maple at bottom) is also unchanged in the redesign. Thus the giant half-mile wide Mecca-oriented mihrab is still there.

To understand the irrelevance of the additional trees to Murdoch's mosque design, one just needs to recognize that, like the Christian cross, a mihrab is a self-contained religious construct. It should be placed in a clean area, but other than that, its meaning is unaffected by what may be around it. All architect Paul Murdoch did was plant some additional trees behind his mihrab (behind those will be facing into the mihrab to face Mecca). That is no different than having some trees behind a Muslim prayer rug. It makes no difference to the presence or meaning of the prayer rug at all.

Well the committee has now opened up comments on the design until Aug 14th.  Go here and make your voice heard.  This needs to be completely redesigned from the ground up.  Those hero's deserve nothing else. 

Alec at Error Theory also suggests:

People might also want to send their comments to Memorial Project Chairman John Reynolds ( and to Superintendent Hanley's boss Mary Bomar ( The Project has a history of ignoring information and criticism. CCing comments to the Project's overseers could help.

This may be our last chance to stop this thing so don't wait. 

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