September 15, 2005


Flight 93 hijacked - again (MARK STEYN, 9/14/05, THE JERUSALEM POST)

FOUR YEARS on, plans for the Flight 93 National Memorial have now been revealed. The winning design, chosen from 1,011 entries, will be built in that pasture in Pennsylvania where those heroes died. The memorial is called "The Crescent of Embrace."

That sounds like a fabulous winning entry – in a competition to create a note-perfect parody of effete multicultural responses to terrorism. Indeed, if anything, it'stoo perfect a parody: the "embrace" is just the usual huggy-weepy reconciliatory boilerplate, but the "crescent" transforms its generic cultural abasement into something truly spectacular. In the design plans, "The Crescent of Embrace" looks more like the embrace of the Crescent – ie, Islam. After all, what better way to demonstrate your willingness to "embrace" your enemies than by erecting a giant Islamic crescent at the site of the day's most unambiguous episode of American heroism?

Okay, let's get all the "of courses" out of the way – of course, the overwhelming majority of Muslims aren't terrorists; of course, we all know "Islam" means "peace" and "jihad" means "healthy-lifestyle lo-carb granola bar"; etc, etc. Nevertheless, the men who hijacked Flight 93 did it in the name of Islam and their last words as they hit the Pennsylvania sod were no doubt "Allahu Akhbar."

ONE WOULD like to think that even today one would be unlikely to come across an Allied D-Day memorial called the Swastika of Embrace. Yet Paul Murdoch, the architect, has somehow managed to conceive a design that makes a splendid memorial to the hijackers rather than their victims.

This would seem to be a more fitting memorial, Bruderhof Peace Barn - A Flight 93 memorial. Civil society once again outdoing the government.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2005 8:00 PM

--And the Bruderhof Peace Barn is now a museum for peace. --

They using the western or muslim definition of peace?

Posted by: Sandy P at September 15, 2005 8:27 PM

As with "racist" and "fascist" and many other words, it really is too bad the Left has so debased the word "peace" as to always make its use suspect.

But the real reason to reject this so-called "memorial" is that it seems to be about everything except the event being memorialized. The people in charge of this should have visited some of the many battlefield memorials from Boston to Georgia to Texas to Montana and used them for their inspiration. Instead we have another example of some architect trying hard to show just how clever he can be (and how much can he slip past the rubes in the process).

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 15, 2005 10:01 PM

Has everyone seen the Crescent of Embrace pointing to Mecca? Update: Looks like the memorial design might be revised">">revised.

Posted by: erp at September 15, 2005 10:46 PM

Love the headline from that link:

Architect "offers" to "alter" Flight 93 memorial to "appease" "critics" [sneerquotes mine].

Scrap the whole thing, put up nothing more than a large block rock with names and the date and nothing more, and leave it to future generations to come up with a suitable memorial. Maybe sometime after 2050.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 16, 2005 12:41 AM

The crescent may be too obscure. I would suggest plopping a Mosque on the site, with a prominent inscription from Matthew 7:16, "Ye shall know them by their fruits"

Posted by: h-man at September 16, 2005 7:34 AM

The "Crescent of Embrace" has two disastrous flaws. First, it insults all peaceable Muslims by linking them to the terrorists, and undercuts the war on terror by granting one of Osama bin Laden's chief propaganda lines - that he represeents Islam. Second, likening a mass-murder to an "embrace," embrace being an expression of love, is psychopathic. It's sick, as people would recognize (I hope) if Auschwitz were commemorated with a "Swastika of Embrace."

Posted by: pj at September 16, 2005 12:00 PM

That Peace Barn is kinda lame. The Beamer bio does not mention "Let's Roll" or any of that--they are memorialized as victims rather than the heroes they were. What's wrong with some old-fashioned statuary that shows the passengers storming the cockpit? That's what I want to remember about flight 93, not that they died, but that they tried to save a bunch of lives by *not dying like victims. Even if the USAF shot them down, we have ample proof of the passenger's heroism.

Posted by: ted welter at September 16, 2005 12:29 PM


Leftists don't even like symbols of people acting courageously, unless it represents petulant defiance of 'the MAN' (which means the GOP, white America, religious types, business, the police/military, and God himself).

Imagine trying to build an Iwo Jima type statue today......

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 16, 2005 3:40 PM