…because 9/11 was a war. Could have fooled me.
I am not an architect, but here is my 9/11 architectural philosophy: War memorials should memorialize war. If you want peace and understanding and healing and good will toward all, go build Kabbalah centers.
No soldiers. No declaration of war. Sept. 11 was an attack by non-military combatants on a civilian population — and it makes about as much sense to create a 9/11 war memorial as it does to create an Oklahoma City war memorial.
When the designers of the Flight 93 memorial actually had the audacity to try and include aspects like “healing” and “contemplation” — you know, things which suggest that some people might be sad that these people died unnecessarily — boy did Michelle get heated:
This is no way to fight a war. Or to remember those who have died fighting it.
A proper war memorial stirs to anger and action.
I cry whenever I go to the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial in DC. I don’t feel “stirred to action,” although admittedly I walk away feeling angry at our government over involving us in another unnecessary war. I don’t feel like picking up a gun after visiting the WWII memorial, or the Holocaust museum, or the Korean War memorial. If I remember them correctly, all those memorials manage to focus on bravery and courage, while still allowing space for grief, contemplation and hope for peace.
And they were actually war memorials. Do I need to say it again? The innocent passengers on Flight 93 didn’t die fighting in a war. This is not a war memorial. I agree that it’s important to immortalize the heroics of the people on that flight. But it’s completely innappropriate to turn a memorial into a politicized “let’s kick some ass, yay war!” campaign. And for the record, I think that the chosen design is quite beautiful.
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