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Thread: Flight 93 Memorial - Shanksville - Sommerset, Pennsylvania

  1. #1

    Default Flight 93 Memorial - Shanksville - Sommerset, Pennsylvania

    It doesn't quite fit the mold of "New York Skyscrappers" but it deserves a spot here along with all the other WTC threads.

    The final designs of the Shanksville Flight 93 Memorial Contest went on display July 1, 2005.

    It was totally obliterated (e.g., totally omitted by the NY media) following the Freedom Tower II announcement.

    This is of course ironic since United Flight 93 was the only flight to originate out of a NYC area airport (Newark Gate 17) and was the one flicker of hope on 911 as New Yorkers were the only ones to fight back.

    A lot of people consider the 93 Contest a model on what should have been done at Ground Zero (e.g., showing the designs before the judging and being run by the National Park Service).

    The 93 folks are so paranoid about the lack of interest in this memorial they are going to hold the Sept. 7 final announcement in Washington, DC, (rather than either Sommerset, Pennsylvania or even Newark).

    The memorial designs are all decidely rural but they are also all decidely much more respectful of the historic nature of the site.

    This is all probably more information than is usual for starting a thread. My apologies.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Revised Flight 93 Memorial Still Stirs Islamic Conspiracy Theories

    December 1, 2005

    The revised design for the Flight 93 Memorial in being more round has not quelled the conservative blogs attack on it having tones of some celebratory Islamic shrine.

    The core issue of the debate on the the unfortunately named “Crescent of Embrace” that a grove of red and sugar maples will resemble the Islamic crescent and that it will point to Mecca (and adding insult to injury is that it still includes blocks commemorating the 4 hijackers rather just the 40 crew and passengers). The Crescent has been renamed “40 Memorial Groves.”

    The revised memorial is the “bowl” has the maples circling the memorial with the actual crash site at its tip creating more of ring shape. Still the blogs are not happy with the new design. Given much more logical process in the selection, it would appear this is a honest mistake but conservative blogs see it as something much more sinister.

    Errortheory probably best summarizes the blog attacks.
    The redesigned flight 93 memorial, announced today, still contains all of the features that made it a terrorist memorial. Architect Paul Murdoch’s infamous red crescent is still there, still planted with red maple trees, still inscribed in the exact same circle as before, and with the same two crescent tips still intact. Thus the crescent bisector defined by these crescent tips is also the same as before. It still points almost exactly to Mecca, making the crescent a Mihrab (an Islamic prayer station, where the believer faces into a crescent, towards Mecca, to perform his ritual prostrations). The design still incorporates a separate upper terrorist-memorial wall, centered precisely on the red-maple crescent. There are still 44 translucent blocks on the flight path to the crash site, matching the total number of dead, instead of just the forty translucent blocks that are dedicated to the forty murdered Americans. Lastly, the Tower of Voices part of the memorial is still an Islamic prayer-time sundial.
    The blow back on the Flight 93 memorial is absolutely amazing as it seemed they did everything to avoid the problems have beset the World Trade Center — the memorial was coordinated with the National Park Service which will own it, all the entries were public before the judging and the winning design is simple, has a soaring element (the Tower of Voices), incorporates flags (which are notably missing at the WTC) and the plan did not try to obliterate the history of the site with just a simple memorial at the site of the impact.

    The Daily American in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, headlined its article “Flight 93 memorial comes full circle” and begins “The Crescent of Embrace has become a circle of conciliation.”

    In contrast to the adversarial debates at Ground Zero, the designer are truly trying to work with the public to alleviate the concerns.
    Lead designer Paul Murdoch of Paul Murdoch Architects of Los Angeles, Calif., said the changes were made in response to comments from the public, jury members and various partner organizations. Murdoch said the changes also are intended to improve the design from an aesthetic and architectural standpoint, while making the site more accessible to visitors.
    “If we felt that these enhancements were in any way a compromise (over the original design), we would not be putting them forward,” Murdoch said in a conference call yesterday with reporters.
    The article further notes:
    Flight 93 Commissioner Greg Walker, a Stonycreek Township supervisor, said he had no quarrel with the design team’s decision to change the final design, even though the original design seemed to be well received by township residents.
    “I never got any negative comments from the residents around here,” he said. “Everyone I talked to really liked his design.”
    Walker said he believes calls for change or a new design were coming primarily from “people outside the area.”
    Official Flight93 Memorial Page
    Zombietime Animation of Crescent
    Image of Finger Pointing to Mecca from SaintKansas Blog

    Given the intense fire storm over commemorating the four Flight 93 attackers, wait until the main course begins on how the World Trade Center handles things.

    Anyhow for those who actually like to do the math fallbackbelmont and FreeRepublic has this:
    According to this site, the latitude/longitude coordinates of Mecca are 21.4234, 39.8262 and the coordinates of the Flight 93 crash site are 40.052, -78.8963. Using the calculator from this site, I determined that the azimuth between the two points is 124.80°.

    Next I went to the Flight 93 National Memorial website and found the biggest overhead view of the memorial I could find with north oriented up. I measured the distance from tip-to-tip of the crescent and came up with 64px east-west and 90px north-south. The arctangent of 64/90 is the angle between north and a line drawn between the tips, which works out to 35.42°. Adding 90° to this angle gives the direction the crescent faces as 125.42°. Conclusion: the crescent points towards Mecca with an error of 0.62°, or 0.17%.

  3. #3


    It's nice to know that things can get just as overblown in the middle of nowhere.

  4. #4



  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    It's nice to know that things can get just as overblown in the middle of nowhere.
    You betcha!!

    Just check out the blog responses at Errortheory (a couple are listed below for perusal) :
    What I'd like to see are 40 eagle statues, weeping, while sharpening their claws with a file because yeah! They're getting ready to kick some Islamofascist ass. And maybe there can be some angels saluting, while waving American flags. Plus, I want to hear something like "Born in the USA" playing over and over again. But just the refrain, not the rest of that pinko sob story.
    # posted by Anonymous : 6:06 AM

    Innes, I'm slightly offended by the implication of your post. I would not sanction any sort of tawdry creation, misusing the technology of animatronics (to be honest I would prefer not to use that term, but perhaps coin a new one such as 'living statuary'). And clearly, any proper memorial must by definition place Old Glory in a central location.
    I will concede that this is a controversial proposal, but the key goal is that the weak-wristed and seditious offering which is currently on the table MUST not be foisted on the American people.

    For an idea of the kind of style I believe is appropriate, you need look no further than the inspirational and truly monumental creations from the Lord of the Rings series:
    Heroic Example

    (please note, the outstretched arms of these statues are forward pointing, and not angled upwards).

    Needless to say, the subject must be the American Bald Eagle, roosting, numbering 40, and forming a protective circle, with a collonade of trees leading to a central memorial of some sort.
    # posted by col : 6:12 AM

  6. #6
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    And I couldn't resist sharing this one:
    Very impressive and compelling analysis. I would only add that the 'tower of voices' is also clearly a minaret, the tower which every mosque has which is used to call the faithful to prayer. The 'voice' is that of the muezzin who climbs inside the minaret to the top, from which he chants the call. check out wikepedia for 'minaret': not only are they often cylindrical in form, they are also often topped with crescent-shaped corniches (like the shadow projection)and ornamented with mosaic tiles!!! And the color blue is often used to decorate mosques!From the winning entry presentation: "The outside of the curved concrete tower wall is finished with white glass mosaic tiles to create a reflective, ephemeral quality, and blue plaster inside to evoke the sky. At night, the Tower interior is evenly grazed with light and the exterior illuminated as a beacon." A beacon to prayer, no doubt!The arabic word minaret comes from the root word 'manar' which literally means 'beacon'!
    # posted by Anonymous : 12:41 PM

    You know what else? Minarets are often built on the ground. So is this memorial!

    Frequently, Muslims breathe air. This memorial will be surrounded by air!

    Many Muslims can see colors. Can you believe they used color in this memorial?

    There are trees in this memorial. I don't think there are any trees in Arabland. But the trees have green leaves in the summer, and green is an evil Muslim color!

    I bet people at the memorial will be quiet and Islamofascists as they ponder their next evil deed!

    Glass blocks? Glass blocks! Don't even get me started on those glass blocks. I think a Muslim once looked through a window and those are made of glass.

    It's in America. Were you aware that there are Muslims in this very country as we speak?!?

    What depths won't this sick designer sink to? How obvious does he need to be that literally, down to the less atom, this monument was designed to worship Allah and death and scabies and everything bad in the world???

    I think there's something about what they're made of, atomic molecular bits or something, but I did poorly in chemistry. I bet it's still evil, though.
    # posted by Anonymous : 1:08 PM

    Thanks for the laugh. Next, you'll be pointing out that the blades of grass in the memorial face Mecca when the wind blows a certain way. Cursed lawn! I have to admit, though, that this is the most elaborately manufactured paranoia I've yet seen in a blog. Congrats on your creativity!
    # posted by Anonymous : 1:14 PM

  7. #7
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I was looking at that angular thing drawn through.

    How the hell did they come up with the "fact" that it is pointing to Mecca?

    It looks like they just drew a line from Mecca into the memorial, then started playing with their protractor and Drafting Triangles.

    Damn conspiracy conspiracists!!!!

    (If I have a conspiracist, would I need to go to the doctor to get it removed?)

  8. #8


    On Saturday August 23, 2008 a 2-ton, 14-foot WTC steel beam cross fetish was transported to, and erected upon a pentagonal concrete plinth on the grounds of the Shanksville Fire Company. Sunday morning August 24, 2008 it was dedicated.

    Retired firefighter Pat 'Paddy' Concannon, whose excavating business pulled the cross-shaped remnant from the debris during the World Trade Center rescue effort "wanted to find a home for this steel."

    "This is an effort on our part to tie the three events together: The World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville," he said.

    As a fundraiser for the Fire Family Transport Foundation, a charity he founded to provide medical transport to firefighters, family members, and wounded warriors, Paddy organized a 1,000 motorcycle escort for the structural artifact from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn -- 311 miles to the rural town of Shanksville PA about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

    John Hagar of Palmer Township PA rode his motorcycle to Brooklyn to participate after waking at 4 o'clock in the morning.

    “Every single bridge we passed, there were fire trucks and flags,” said Hager, 48. “Every overpass from Brooklyn to here. It sends shivers down your spine.”

    Paddy was equally struck by the fervor the steel cross caused people to exhibit.

    "Who would ever think that people would be touching it -- like it's the Ark of the Covenant... it's unbelievable." (Video)

    The attached plaque reads:


    We honor those who saw
    their untimely fate before them
    and chose to defeat evil to
    ensure America's freedom.

    FLIGHT 93

  9. #9


    A Christian symbol at a public facility.

    So separation of Church & State is out the window. At least the statement "like the Ark of the Covenant" references Judaism.

    It's going to be really hard to work Islam into the symbolic narrative.

    Well, in a positive way at least.

  10. #10


    Shanksville Fire Company is a volunteer fire department (VFD) whose specific history shows that they are more like a nonprofit outreach charity than an arm of government. (Ever see Gangs of New York?)

    (Note on the Ark reference: Only a specific 'brotherhood' of priests were even allowed by God to see the Ark -- and no one may ever touch it under penalty of death.)

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    I find the whole "cross" thing extremely offensive. This country used to create really moving memorials. Now, they put up a cross and call it a day.

  12. #12


    Well this isn't just any-old cross, this is steel that's been consecrated with the blood and sacrificed lives of HEROES, and many victims -- but the HEROES did the consecrating.

    Don't you see? This is just the dawn of a new age of cross symbolism where the sacrifice of HEROES is on par with the sacrifice of Jesus. Just like Constantine redefined Christianity as the divine enabler of his supreme authority and encouraged Christians to praise their God, so too do we have a nationalist strain bent on redefining our civic religion of HERO worship with the reverence historically reserved for religion. Think of this monument as a subtle Treaty of Milan where worshipping HEROES is encouraged and glorified since it exhalts the State by equating service of government with service of God. HEROES become above reproach and sanctified by their sacrifice and duty to the highest possible calling -- becoming tools for State self aggrandizement.

    Ἐν τούτῳ νίκα.

    Labarum imagery aside, firefighters were associated with the cross and Christianity since Saint Florian even before Constantine but mainly later during the Crusades by the Knights of St. John (whose beheading feast is eaten August 29).

  13. #13


    Flight 93 families ask Bush to OK land seizure

    By BOB LENTZ, Associated Press Writer – Sun Dec 28, 12:20 am ET

    PHILADELPHIA – Relatives of those who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 want the Bush Administration to seize the land needed for a memorial where the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa., in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

    The Families of Flight 93 sent a letter earlier this month asking President George W. Bush to empower the Secretary of the Interior to take the land in dispute from a homeowner who had been in negotiations with the National Parks Service, said Patrick White, vice president of the families' organization.

    The group says ground must be broken early next year in time for a memorial to be build for the 10th anniversary of the crash in 2011.

    Svonavec Inc. owns one of the last large chunks of land needed for the 2,200-acre memorial, including the area where the plane crashed Sept. 11, 2001. Svonavec's treasurer Mike Svonavec has said the park service has not done enough to negotiate a deal.

    White said Svonavec has not been willing to negotiate, and called that unacceptable.

    "We've certainly sought to do this within in the process, following protocol as much as we possibly can," White said Saturday. "It has gotten to the point where we fear we'll lose significant momentum.

    "We have an administration that has been very supportive of this effort. We just wanted to make sure the president is aware of what the circumstances are. ... We just didn't want to get lost in the shuffle."

    In October, the National Park Service said it would use an independent appraiser to determine the value of 275 acres of land needed for the memorial. The NPS also said it could use eminent domain to acquire the plot if all else fails.

    Construction of a $58 million permanent memorial and national park is scheduled to begin in 2009.

    White, whose cousin Louis Nacke II died on Flight 93, said the group would favor Bush giving the interior secretary or director of park services the power to take the necessary steps to acquire the land before the administration leaves office in January.

    He said the families understand that the outgoing president has plenty to do in his final weeks in office. But White pledged that the group would carry its fight to the Obama Administration, if needed.

    "I think the rest of the family members and I feel there is no point at which we will stop," White said. "Whatever it takes. As long as it takes. Whoever it takes. To do anything less would be doing a disservice to those that we love."

    Flight 93 was en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2001, when it was diverted by hijackers. The official 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers tried to wrest control of the cockpit.

  14. #14


    so a hijacked plane is crashed into the ground, the families of the people on board demand that that land be taken from private owners... to build a 2,200 acre memorial......................

  15. #15
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Isn't that ^ the Republican thing to do?

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