September 11th was a highly emotional event for most Americans, particularly those who lost family members in the attacks. So, naturally, some amount of controversy surrounds the memorial and reconstruction efforts. In Washington D.C., where an American Airlines flight crashed into the Pentagon, there was little debate over the post-attack construction efforts. Most of the Pentagon survived unharmed, and there was really never any question that the damaged portion would simply be rebuilt and the regular offices moved back in. A single brick from the charred remains was left in place, and an area in front of the Pentagon was dedicated as the memorial. The other two locations that were hit, the World Trade Center, and a field in Pennsylvania, have both been the subject of much controversy and criticism from the families of the victims, with the planned memorial in PA being the biggest problem.
The problem is, some elements of the design very closely resemble the Red Crescent – a symbol usually associated with Muslim nations. Another unfortunate coincidence (and there is little reason to believe it is more than that), is that a person looking at the memorial is also facing something else – Mecca. While chances are extremely slim that this is anything more than poor planning, the unwanted symbolism that Al-Qaeda could attach to the memorial – that it memorializes the hijackers rather than the victims – would be highly disrespectful to those who fought and died to protect innocent lives in Washington D.C.
The memorial should be re-designed, and, in my opinion, should put a larger focus on Americanism and the actual victims. Personally, I would like to see American flags added, as well as something to list the names the of the victims. Add in some benches, a reflecting poll or fountain, and keep the trees – though extend them all the way around the memorial – and you would be left with a fitting tribute. This current design, however, is unacceptable.
Feel free to add your own comments.