Movements For and Against Design of Flight 93 Memorial Ramp Up


While most of the attention has been a few hundred miles east in New York, since 2006 we’ve been covering the trials and tribulations of getting a permanent memorial to Flight 93, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania on September 11th. While it, like its counterparts at the World Trade Center site, has been plagued with delays, most recently financial, it’s never received nearly the same attention. We think that might all be about to change. As soon as all this hubbub surround the “Ground Zero mosque” began, and the flurry of xenophobia that’s come with it, we knew it was only a matter of time before we’d hear from Alec Rawls, the lead force behind the movement to stop the National Park Service from using its currently planned memorial, designed by Paul Murdoch. Outside of that brief controversy that claimed Murdoch had stolen his chosen concept, Rawls has been telling anyone who will listen for the past half decade, that the design looks like an crescent and is secretly honoring terrorists. Unfortunately, he’s managed to get some minor press along the way, and even more unfortunate, the ear of the father of one of the victims of the attack. Now, with a portion of the country steaming with anger, Rawls has returned, taking out two full page ads in a local paper speaking out against the memorial’s design and capturing the attention from news outlets, who have given him ample time to share his opinions (read the 600+ comments attached to that link to get an idea of how this story might soon escalate). Fortunately, there’s also been positive developments surrounding the site. There’s a campaign afoot to raise money to pay for the memorial’s construction by selling 9/11 remembrance pins. What’s more, First Ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama are joining the fundraising effort and will be making appearances to support it later today. So while there’s still a lot of work to do, including keeping the site free of commercialization, it’s heartening to see positive movement around the memorial than the loud rants of absurdity.