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Posted by Narnia (Member # 1071) on :
Article opposing current plans for 9/11 memorial

The Great Ground Zero Heist
Will the 9/11 "memorial" have more about Abu Ghraib than New York's heroic firemen?

Wednesday, June 8, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT


The World Trade Center Memorial will break ground this year. When those Marines return in 2010, the year it is scheduled to open, no doubt they will expect to see the artifacts that bring those memories to life. They'll want a vantage point that allows them to take in the sheer scope of the destruction, to see the footage and the photographs and hear the personal stories of unbearable heartbreak and unimaginable courage. They will want the memorial to take them back to who they were on that brutal September morning.

Instead, they will get a memorial that stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the yearning to return to that day. Rather than a respectful tribute to our individual and collective loss, they will get a slanted history lesson, a didactic lecture on the meaning of liberty in a post-9/11 world. They will be served up a heaping foreign policy discussion over the greater meaning of Abu Ghraib and what it portends for the country and the rest of the world.

The World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex will be an imposing edifice wedged in the place where the Twin Towers once stood. It will serve as the primary "gateway" to the underground area where the names of the lost are chiseled into concrete. The organizers of its principal tenant, the International Freedom Center (IFC), have stated that they intend to take us on "a journey through the history of freedom"--but do not be fooled into thinking that their idea of freedom is the same as that of those Marines. To the IFC's organizers, it is not only history's triumphs that illuminate, but also its failures. The public will have come to see 9/11 but will be given a high-tech, multimedia tutorial about man's inhumanity to man, from Native American genocide to the lynchings and cross-burnings of the Jim Crow South, from the Third Reich's Final Solution to the Soviet gulags and beyond. This is a history all should know and learn, but dispensing it over the ashes of Ground Zero is like creating a Museum of Tolerance over the sunken graves of the USS Arizona.

*large snip*

The people who visit Ground Zero in five years will come because they want to pay their respects at the place where heroes died. They will come because they want to remember what they saw that day, because they want a personal connection, to touch the place that touched them, the place that rallied the nation and changed their lives forever. I would wager that, if given a choice, they would rather walk through that dusty hangar at JFK Airport where 1,000 World Trade Center artifacts are stored than be herded through the International Freedom Center's multi-million-dollar insult.

Article in favor of the current memorial plans

A Fitting Place at Ground Zero
The International Freedom Center will respect the victims of 9/11.

Thursday, June 9, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

A year ago tomorrow, a new institution called the International Freedom Center was formally designated by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. as one of the four cultural institutions for the World Trade Center site, all to be operated under the aegis of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.

But some ask why such an institution--including museum exhibition spaces, an educational and cultural center already boasting commitments from nine of New York City's, the nation's and the world's leading universities, and a robust service and civic engagement program all devoted to advancing the cause of freedom--should be placed at Ground Zero. It is a serious question, and it deserves a thoughtful response.

The answer can be found in our society's proudest traditions and its deepest aspirations.

First, of course, the World Trade Center site must include a fitting and powerful memorial. And so it will. Michael Arad and Peter Walker's "Reflecting Absence" will transform the footprints of both of the Towers into "voids," each nearly an acre in size, and including perhaps the largest continuous man-made waterfalls in the world, surrounded by a veritable forest in the middle of the nation's third-largest business district. The Memorial will dominate the site, and provide its soul.

Then there will be the Memorial Center, a museum devoted to the events of September 11 itself, with exhibit space roughly equal in size to that at the International Freedom Center. The Memorial Center will tell the stories of the day--of heroism and sacrifice, of rescue and service, of courage and resolution, of memory and loss. It is the Memorial Center that will contain the iconic artifacts of September 11.

That is necessary, but not sufficient.

As envisioned in Daniel Libeskind's master plan for the site's redevelopment, the International Freedom Center's building will serve as a buffer between the sacred Memorial and the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city, including the thousands of people who will move each day in and out of Santiago Calatrava's spectacular new transit hub.

But the International Freedom Center itself will do much more than that. It will serve as a complement to the Memorial, bringing a universal "narrative of hope" to a place where hope is imperative.


So*. What do you think?
Posted by digging_holes (Member # 6237) on :
I think you should be on MSN.
Posted by digging_holes (Member # 6237) on :
Also, I agree with the first article. Or rather, I agree with neither. I actually agree with Donald Trump. Rebuild the towers they way they were, only bigger. Everyone will be happy.
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
Garden. Fountains.
Posted by Narnia (Member # 1071) on :
I think there will be waterfalls actually.
Posted by Puppy (Member # 6721) on :
How about a waterfall that starts at the top story and evaporates before it hits the ground? That would ROCK!

Oh wait, you could only do that in Arizona. Never mind.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
I don't get the whole memorial thing, to be honest. Fifty years from now, 9/11 will be a half-hour in history class. If they still have history classes in non-pill form, that is.
Posted by ricree101 (Member # 7749) on :
There's still Pearl Harbor memorials, even though that is pretty much a half hour in history class. Not only is it signifigant for the loss of life, it is significant because of the future events that it caused.
Posted by Ginol_Enam (Member # 7070) on :
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I don't get the whole memorial thing, to be honest. Fifty years from now, 9/11 will be a half-hour in history class. If they still have history classes in non-pill form, that is.

That's the point. Its to keep it from being "just" half an hour in a history class (or half a pill). A memorial allows people to remember and realize exaclty how it felt, how horrible it ways when some tragedy occured.
Posted by digging_holes (Member # 6237) on :
I still think they should have two huge new twin towers, with perhaps the uplifting slogan "Up yours, Bin!" in bright red letters visible miles away painted on the sides.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
"A memorial allows people to remember and realize exaclty how it felt, how horrible it ways when some tragedy occured."

Hm. So pretty much every memorial on Earth is a miserable failure, then.
Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
I don't get the whole memorial thing, to be honest
how about the museum in Auschwitz, say?
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
Still don't really get the point.
Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
how many more people do you think would claim Auschwitz never happened if it wasn't there for all to see?
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Well, what is there at Auschwitz is there for all to see. If what is there really is what we are told it is will always be, to some degree, a matter of faith for most of us, and is obviously not convincing to those who already choose to believe conspiracy theories.

This is not to say that I doubt what happened at Auschwitz in the least. I'm just pointing out that even material evidence is questionable to those who wish to question uncritically.

I think memorials are important, however, in that they provide a remembrance of events in a viceral way for many. I don't think they let people "realize exactly how it felt . . ." of course, but they do help people focus on past events. They also help the nation share a tragedy that was personal for only a very few (relatively) individuals. They tell those who lost the most that we all share (at least metaphorically) their loss and grieve with them.
Posted by Kama (Member # 3022) on :
Sure, KarlEd, but it's easier to claim something didn't happen if you have a forest instead of buildings and barracks which you have to account for, no?
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
Not really. You just have to tack on some garbage about how the Allies built it to dupe the world into establishing Israel. . . blah blah blah.

I mean, come on, there are still people who believe the Apollo missions were faked. There were (presumably) thinking, rational people on the OJ Simpson trial and they let him off. I don't think if Auschwitz had been razed in the bombings, plowed and replanted with forest it would change very many beliefs about what happened there.

[ June 28, 2005, 11:37 AM: Message edited by: KarlEd ]
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
Speaking personally, every memorial I have seen has been a touchstone of reality to the event...

Standing on the Battlefield of Manassas or Little Bighorn I can think-- "this is where Lee stood" or "there was Custer's Last Stand". At the traveling 9/11 memorial I was able to see and touch things and say "this was *there* when it happened." At the Alamo I was able to say "here, Jim Bowie died... over there Davy Crockett." At the Vietnam Memorial, I could say "these are the names of real people who died" including names my father told me would be there-- names of people he knew, personally.

To me, it is a tremendous and poetic aid to take these things out of the history books and into my imagination... to begin to experience what it must have been like. THIS is "history written in lightning".

If it doesn't move you, Tom, that's fine... but not everyone is like you (and perhaps that's even a good thing [Wink] )
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
"If it doesn't move you, Tom, that's fine... but not everyone is like you."

Very true. And, no, it doesn't move me. It's one of the reasons I don't visit Civil War battlefields; they're basically patches of grass where people died once. *shrug*

The story is what's moving. The props and setting are just there to catch the eye.
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
I like visiting the Civil War battlefields. Shiloh, especially, although that's probably because of The Red Badge of Courage.
Posted by aspectre (Member # 2222) on :
If they wanted a memorial, they would build the new UnitedNationsBuilding on the old WorldTradeCenter site.
Posted by Leonide (Member # 4157) on :
I essentially agree with you, Tom.

But I like visiting Civil War battlefields for the history that took place there, not necessarily the tragedy. They don't particularly move me.

And what am I saying? I've been to Gettysburg, once.

edit: I was just thinking, though, I've been to Dachau. And i hated it. I mean, in the sense that I had to leave my school group and go and sit on the bus cause I thought I was going to be sick or cry. I guess it all depends on the quality of the memorial-visitors imagination, as to whether or not a memorial is effective. I'm fairly empathetic, a great positive trait but also one of my worst flaws. So I always feel really bad for tragedy victims. Same thing with the Titanic exhibition in...where was I, Virginia? Somewhere and they had a block of ice and you could hold your hand on it and see how cold it really was for the people in that ocean. And they had stories of the passengers, and you actually *became* a passenger when you entered the building, you got a card with their name on it and you had to find their story...

Point is, that was a very well-done memorial, IMO. But then again, I'm not sure they were really looking at it as a memorial so much as a pretty good money-making venture, given the popularity of the movie.
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
Keith Olberman (I think?) had an idea. Rebuild the two towers as they were, but make one tower exactly X inches shorter than the other; one inch for every person that died.

The idea is that anyone who looks up will wonder (or remember) why.

Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
I kind of like that idea. But not exactly as they were. This time, don't make them vulnerable to collapse when you crash an airliner full of fuel into them. That would be kinda silly.
Posted by ssywak (Member # 807) on :

Those would be called "Bunkers," or "Pillboxes."

Typically, they're buried in the ground.

Posted by Exploding Monkey (Member # 7612) on :
Here's my idea:

Build two battle fortresses in the shape of two roided-out arms with guns and missile launchers and laser batteries sticking out from EVERYWHERE.

On the tops, have two giant hands (one on each) giving the finger to the terrorists overseas.

We can bling 'em out with neon and Japanese writing so they look like they were pulled right out of an aname film.

At the tip of the left hand's middle finger we'll have Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars in a throne room converting Jedi into Sith warriors to battle the terrorists.

On the right hand’s finger, we'll have Bush in his own thrown room still trying to form a coherent sentence.

When evil from outer space shows up to cause havoc on Earth, the arm-towers will launch into space where they'll dock with Voltron to kick alien butt!

I think this would ROCK! What about you?

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