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Flight 93 Memorial: A Slap at Christians in America
The smoke at Ground Zero had not yet dissipated into the New York sky when the world, including most of the liberals in our own land, started their shrill complaints against President Bush and the American people and launched a fresh blame-America-first campaign that continues to grow. A week after the 9/11 Massacre, Bush made people cringe when he used the word “crusade” to describe the new war we were now facing.
Since then there has been no end to the scrutiny of the left to ensure that Muslims are treated with politically correct kid gloves. We are supposed to be careful that we don’t say anything that might offend them and, for the most part, we all do what we can to that end. Unfortunately, part of that equation is the promotion of Islam and the squelching of Judeo-Christian America.
We aren’t supposed to mind this. I do.
I can think of no greater affront to American honor than to slap a blatantly Islamic symbol across a 9/11 memorial, but that is exactly what is in the works. The winning entry for the Flight 93 National Memorial, unveiled on September 7—just four days before the fourth anniversary of 9/11—includes both the Islamic symbol of the Crescent—the “Crescent of Embrace”—and, more carefully disguised, a minaret-like structure called the “Tower of Voices,” whose chimes continually “celebrate a living memory of those who are honored.”
Just who is being honored is in question.
The Los Angeles-based architect who submitted this disgraceful design is Paul Murdoch, who insists that no connection to Islam was intended, that his memorial is “not about religion, per se,” but is to be a spiritual, sacred place open to all. So is all this much ado about nothing, a mere coincidence?
If you believe that, then you don’t understand the nature of artists, which is what architects are. (Try to debate with them that they are not; you will get an earful.)
A couple of years ago I worked with another type of artist, a graphic designer, whose team was hired to design a website for a logistics firm. The president of the firm expressly wanted his site to convey a spirit of reliability. “When you go to this site,” he told them, “you should think reliability, integrity, a solid company that you can trust.” The team returned a week later with three or four variations for the homepage, and I noticed that one design included an Oriental-style tree. Somewhat familiar with symbols, I asked about it. How surprised I was to hear one of the designers, a young lady, sheepishly say, “Well, that’s based on an old Buddhist symbol for reliability.” (The president, an ex-Marine, stared at her as if she had grown that tree out of the end of her nose.)
Architects—good ones like Paul Murdoch and his design crew—are fully aware of the symbolism that they put into their work. The first order of business is to make money, of course, which is why their design incorporates various half-religious notions of sacredness and healing, which appeal to people’s sentimentalism. But no one can tell me that it never crossed their minds that the Crescent is the symbol of Islam, just as the Cross is the symbol of Christianity. (Neither started out that way: the Crescent was originally a pagan symbol, and the Cross was a favorite torture device of the Romans.)
As one observer noted, plastering a Crescent across the landscape in tribute to the heroes of Flight 93—to be seen clearly from the air—is like building a memorial to the Holocaust victims in the form of a Swastika. Or imagine the furor had we built the Pearl Harbor Memorial in a pattern that reminded us of the Japanese war flag, with planes and ships extending, beam-like, from a central orb.
The presence of “minaret” in the Memorial design is barely apparent, but only because, living in a non-Islamic nation, we have no need to take note of its function: it is used by the muezzin (crier) to call the faithful to turn toward Mecca and pray. The minaret, five times a day, literally becomes a “tower of voices.” Is connecting the Flight 93 Memorial tower to an Islamic minaret a stretch? Not with the Crescent symbol in proximity.
Apparently the families of the Flight 93 victims are behind this unanimously, which is both disappointing and disturbing. I have yet to hear what Todd Beamer’s reticent wife, Lisa, has to say about it, but regardless, this is not just about those families, but about America, and every American must judge for himself. Go to the Memorial website
and view the slideshow. How many Christian or American symbols can you find there? How many that represent Todd and Lisa Beamer’s faith and patriotism?
I found one cross-like image, which appears to be on its side, but not an American flag in sight.
I don’t know this country anymore. I am no conspiracy theorist, as anyone who reads my work will admit, but I understand artists all too well, especially liberal ones. If we are so easily duped with this sort of garbage, we deserve exactly what is coming. But perhaps we’re just giving the artists the benefit of the doubt. Well, let’s imagine that Murdoch had, by naÃ¯ve coincidence, incorporated a giant Cross in his designs, and nearby a building that looked something like—by sheer chance, mind you—a cathedral. Imagine the atheistic outcry from the left!
The fact is, that very thing has already happened, at Ground Zero itself, when a Cross of Steel was found amidst the rubble and hoisted high for the faithful to come and offer prayers. Some folks, like me, wanted to see that Cross become a permanent fixture of the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan (it never mattered to us if it was a natural or supernatural manifestation, only that it was a worthy and comforting symbol). The American Atheists and other groups killed the proposal with little trouble. The Cross, discovered by a Christian, Frank Silecchia, now resides on “the high walkway over West Street.” How’s that for a weak testimony to the Christian heritage upon which this country was founded?
If the merging of Islamic symbols into the Flight 93 Memorial is intentional (and we haven’t even asked if that matters), we must wonder why the designers would put them there in the first place.
Well, perhaps for the same reason liberals objected to President Bush’s use of the word “crusade.” Liberals, who have been steeped in anti-Americanism and multiculturalism for years, believe that “inclusion” and “tolerance” are the way to effect peace. By their nature, they hold America in contempt, and the enemy of their enemy is their friend. So what better way to show their spirit of magnanimity and broadmindedness than to raise the banner—quietly, if possible—for their friend?
A. M. Siriano is a developer of applications and websites who lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and three children. He is a die-hard Christian, Protestant from both sides of the family, and a proud right-winger.
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