May 08, 2008

No more do-overs for terrorist memorializing architects

Defenders of the crescent design keep accusing Tom Burnett Sr. of trying to get an improper “do over” after failing back in 2005 to sway the design-competition jury. But who is really seeking the do-over? The American people rose up in protest in 2005 when they saw that the Memorial Project wanted to plant a bare naked Islamic crescent and star flag on the flight 93 crash site:

MockUpandCrescent20%

That uproar forced the Memorial Project to agree to redesign the memorial so that it would no longer include Islamic symbol shapes (whether they are intentional or not). But nothing significant was changed. Every particle of the original crescent design remains completely intact in the so-called redesign, which only disguised the original crescent with a few irrelevant trees, placed to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent.

The American people caught a hijacker trying to re-hijack Flight 93, and the Memorial Project told him to go back outside and try again, which is exactly what he did. Now they accuse Tom Burnett of wanting an improper do-over?

There were dozens of articles and television segments about the crescent controversy this week, mostly in Pennsylvania , with some national news coverage by Fox News television and AP. This post is an attempt to capture the general thrust of the new wave of position statements.

The Memorial Project is inverting every moral imperative at this point, and it all comes from their fervent desire to reverse the results of September 2005. Their embrace of the crescent was rejected by America and they are determined to undo that defeat, to the point of being willfully blind to massive evidence of al Qaeda sympathizing intent.

The new face of the Memorial Project: Edward Felt’s wife and brother take the lead

Sandra Felt, one of the Flight 93 family members who helped select the Crescent of Embrace design, admits that she never paid any attention to warnings about Islamic and terrorist memorializing symbolism in the crescent design:

Sandra Felt has known for nearly three years about complaints that the design of the proposed Flight 93 National Memorial allegedly contains Islamic symbols, but she never gave them any credence.

"I don't even think about it," said Felt, whose husband, Edward, died on ... United Airlines Flight 93.
And nobody blames her. It shouldn't be on the Flight 93 families to investigate evidence that any one of us can easily fact check. But Sandra and her brother in law Gordon Felt, now President of Families of Flight 93, are going further, pretending for some reason that the charges people have made against architect Paul Murdoch are actually being leveled against them.

How could that be, when three of the features that our petition lists as unacceptable--the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent, the 44 glass blocks on the flight path, and the giant Islamic sundial--were not even discovered until after the crescent design was selected? Nobody blames the family members for approving design features they had no inkling were there, yet Gordon Felt says that warnings about the design are "quite hurtful, to think we would want to create a memorial to those who murdered our loved ones."

Nobody ever suggested any such thing, but Felt is getting as much mileage as he can out of this excuse NOT to look at the facts, telling Fox News television:
I was outraged, for anyone to infer that family members who have been such an integral part of this process have in any way been involved in memorializing the murderers of our loved ones. I find it extremely offensive.
This after expressing his anger at Tom Burnett last week for Tom's failure to submit to the Memorial Project's "democratic process." Tom lost the jury vote, so in Felt's view, he is apparently supposed to shut up now. Strange view of democracy.

Along with Patrick White (brother of Louis Nacke II), Gordon Felt sees Mr. Burnett as trying to get an improper "do over" by raising all these new concerns. Presented with evidence of an enemy plot, Felt acts as if this new information is cheating. Like Sandra, he is positively hostile even to the idea of taking this information seriously.

Not surprisingly, this slope is slippery, and Gordon Felt now seems to be deliberately misleading the public about the 44 inscribed translucent blocks that are to be placed along the flight path.

Memorial Project misinformation, covered up by the media's refusal to check the facts

One of the claims in our petition is that there are 44 inscribed translucent blocks, or "glass blocks," to be placed along the flight path. Asked about the 44 blocks by AP reporter Ramesh Santanam, Mr. Felt denied it:
Opponents also claim there is a plan to have 44 glass blocks, for the 40 victims and four hijackers, in the design.

"That's an absolute, unequivocal fabrication that is being portrayed as fact," said Edward Felt's brother, Gordon Felt, president of Families of Flight 93. "It's misleading and helps drive the conspiracy theory."

He said he is insulted people would believe he would participate in anything that honored his brother's killers.
Santanam presents these directly opposing factual claims, and that's it. No fact checking, when all he has to do is open up the design PDF's and count the translucent blocks. It takes literally two minutes.

Open up the Sacred Ground PDF and on the right side you see this:

Memorial Walls, 43 "glass" blocks, 45%

At eye level, are 43 “glass” (or translucent marble) blocks, built into the two part Memorial Wall that follows the flight path just above the impact point. Forty are inscribed with the names of the 40 heroes. Three are inscribed with the 9/11 date. (The blocks can be counted in an elevation view at the bottom of the PDF.)

For the 44th glass block, go to the Entry Portal PDF, which shows a giant glass block, marking the spot where the flight path breaks the circle in architect Paul Murdoch’s description:

44th block close up, 50%

44th block sits at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway, which follows the flight path at the upper crescent tip. Murdoch even has the brass to tell us that it marks the terrorists' circle-breaking crescent creating feat. To be inscribed: "A field of honor forever."

They have been covering it up for two years now

The Memorial Project has known about this terrorist memorializing block-count since April 2006, when Project Manager Jeff Reinbold argued that the giant glass block at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway cannot be counted with the others because it is so much bigger (Crescent of Betrayal, download 3, p. 146). As Tom Burnett wrote in his February 1st advertisement in the Somerset Daily American:
What? Because the capstone to the terrorist memorializing block count is magnificent, that is supposed to make it okay?
But regardless of the merits of the Memorial Project's rationale for not being concerned about the 44 translucent memorial blocks on the flight path, there can be no excuse for telling the public that this claim is false. No one ever said that all the blocks would be the same size. We have been explicit: the 44th block is the giant glass block that dedicates the entire site.

Maybe Gordie Felt has a different dodge in mind. Maybe he is caviling over the fact that the 44th block is made of slightly different material than the other 43, being designated "glass" while the others are labeled "translucent marble." That's like caviling about the size difference.

We can't go repeating "44 inscribed translucent blocks on the flight path" all the time, so we shorten it to "the 44 glass blocks" or "the 44 blocks." Is that Gordon Felt's excuse for evading the fact that there are 44 inscribed translucent blocks on the flight path? We use a necessary shorthand and his instinct for evasion says "aha!"?

Sorry Mr. Felt. That is NOT how you live up to your fiduciary responsibility to the American people. You have accepted a position of trust and you trying to hide the truth, not expose it.

The fourth petition complaint: that the giant crescent is STILL THERE

One of the intolerable features of the soon-to-be-built memorial was known to everyone involved in the jury process. That is the crescent and star configuration of the original Crescent of Embrace design. When outrage erupted in September 2005 over this the planting of a naked Islamic flag on the graves of our murdered heroes, the Memorial Project was adamant they did not want to change it. They had talked about the likeness to an Islamic crescent during jury deliberations and decided that they wanted to choose it anyway. When controversy erupted, they felt the critics were trying to override what they thought was THEIR decision to make.

That position collapsed when Congressman Tancredo insisted that, intentional or not, it was unacceptable to build the Flight 93 memorial in the shape of a symbol that the Flight 93 terrorists claimed as their own. Pretty obvious one would think, but the backers of the crescent design were bitterly angry about having their preference overruled, just as they are now. They didn't want to change the design, and they DIDN'T change the design.

In the original, the terrorists break our liberty-loving circle, turning it into a giant Mecca-oriented crescent. The Park Service describes the so-called redesign in the exact same terms:
The circle is broken in two places that mark the southeastern path of the plane to the crash site. The circle is broken at the entry to the memorial and at the crash site.
It is still a broken circle, and it is still broken in the exact same places. The only change is that, instead of the broken off part being completely removed, a chunk of the broken off part of the circle now floats out across part of the mouth of the crescent:

Crescent Bowl35%

Except for the re-coloring of the redesign image (right), the only change is the "broken off" arc of trees to the left of the crescent.

Both thematically and geometrically, nothing is changed. The unbroken part of the circle (the crescent) remains completely intact. In particular, it still points to Mecca , making it the world's largest mihrab (the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built).

Sandy Felt seems pretty clear that the issue is still the giant crescent:
Sandy Felt, Edward Felt's widow, was on the second jury.

She said ... that the issue of the crescent shape came up during discussions because of a public comment card submitted.

Jurors were not willing to dismiss the design because of the name, "Crescent of Embrace," or the shape.

"There's no particular ownership of this shape," she said. "... We felt confident with the notion that the void in the embrace was representative of loss."
She and the other crescent defenders claim that it is Mr. Burnett who wants a "redo" on this point, but it is actually THEY who are looking for a "redo." On this very point--on just the crescent shape itself, without taking into account the numerous other Islamic and terrorist memorializing features--it is the DEFENDERS of the crescent who lost the popular vote in September 2005, not Tom Burnett.

Democracy

Do the nine people who voted for the crescent design (the vote was 9 to 6) really think that they have a greater claim to represent America's democratic voice than a United States Congressman, speaking for a national uproar? Do they really think that it is THEIR prerogative to plant a terrorist memorial mosque on the graves of our murdered heroes, no matter what the rest of the country thinks?

America stood up in September 2005 and said OVER OUR DEAD BODIES. The Memorial Project pretended to accede to this rejection, promising to remove the Islamic symbol shapes, but they DIDN'T remove the crescent. They only hid it.

Democracy is the will of the American people, not the will of nine family members, misguided by grief, who have fallen in love with a giant Islamic shaped crescent. It is bad enough that an inflated sense of prerogative makes these family members think it is okay to try to sneak their giant crescent onto the crash site even after it has been publicly rejected. Worse is their using their bitterness at being rebuffed as an excuse not to witness the numerous further Islamic and terrorist memorializing design features that have been discovered.

Every American feels tremendous sympathy for the grief of these families, but that does not absolve those who have stepped up to positions of public responsibility from the need to BE RESPONSIBLE. As much as the families may want peace and healing, our nation is in the middle of what promises to be a very long war with those who attacked us on 9/11. To be willfully blind to evidence of an al Qaeda sympathizing plot is DANGEROUS.

Since these family members are embracing every excuse to evade evidence of radical Islamic intent, they simply have to be overruled, and this time for good. No more do-overs for terrorist memorial mosques.

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