February 01, 2007

Un Memoriam


Save The 9/11 Memorial is the latest petition campaign aimed at ensuring the World Trade Center memorial appropriately honors the victims of 9/11. Why another petition drive? Current memorial plans will list most of the victims' names randomly. Of Mayor Bloomberg's plan they write:

Approximately 2,400 victims will be listed in "no discernible order," that is, visitors will see rows and rows of uninterrupted, evenly spaced names without ages. There will be nothing to indicate who they were, where they were and how they were connected to each other. ... None of the names will be in alphabetical order; they will appear random. ...

This, to us, is not how anyone in America viewed them, except perhaps, the terrorists who killed them.

The group proposes including additional information about the victims, such as ages and military ranks, and grouping them by corporate and institutional affiliations. I think such information will provide crucial context for a proper remembrance. Many of the victims died with their co-workers, and they were all murdered because they worked in American institutions like the Pentagon and Cantor-Fitzgerald, a single company that lost 658 people. The 9/11 attacks were an atrocity of such magnitude that it's difficult to comprehend how many people it affected. The added information on the memorial will help viewers better understand that individuals were murdered that day. You can sign the 9/11 Memorial Petition here.

For the latest news on the issue, go to Take Back The Memorial.

The following story sums up the controversy. From WCBSTV: Special Report: 9/11 Memorial Dispute Takes To Airwaves.

Victims' families angry over plans for a 9/11 memorial are officially taking their fight to the airwaves. A 60-second national television ad began airing Thursday morning that calls for changes to the way victims' names will be listed at the sacred site. ...

Edith Lutnick's brother Gary was one of more than 650 Canter-Fitzgerald employees who died on 9/11.

"Fifty years from now or 100 years from now if all this Memorial conveys to you is that a bunch of people died then the message is going to be lost," she said.

(There's another memorial that could provide guidance on this issue. The attacks of September 11 are often compared to the attack at Pearl Harbor. Most of the victims of the 1941 attack died on the USS Arizona, and the USS Arizona Memorial built over the wreckage features the alphabetized names and ranks of those who died, subdivided by Navy and Marines. All other victims are memorialized separately at the Remembrance Exhibit which, as described here, "pays tribute to the men, women and children, military personnel and civilians who were not on the USS Arizona that fateful morning, but whose lives were extinguished during the attack." Civilian names are subdivided by the location of their death. Furthermore, in the article Civilians died on Dec. 7, too, Park Ranger Jack G. Henkels explains why the memorial was updated to include the ages of the victims as well.)

UPDATE I -- Feb. 2: Thanks to Wes Mann at Investor's Business Daily for catching the typo in the cartoon, which is now fixed.

UPDATE II: It's even worse than I realized. Tim Sumner at Take Back the Memorial notes that even more will be left out of the memorial, such as the American flag and any mention of the date September 11, 2001.

UPDATE III -- Feb. 5: A must-read post at Take Back The Memorial: Who died in addition to the 343?.

Posted by Forkum at February 1, 2007 05:07 PM