Defenders of the crescent design keep accusing Tom Burnett Sr. of trying to
get an improper “do-over” after failing back in 2005 to sway the design-competition jury.
But who is really seeking the do-over? The American people rose up in
protest in 2005 when they saw that the Memorial Project wanted to plant a
bare naked Islamic crescent and star flag on the flight 93 crash site.
That uproar forced the Memorial Project to agree to redesign the memorial so
that it would no longer include Islamic symbol shapes (whether they are
intentional or not). But nothing significant was changed. Every particle of
the original crescent design remains completely intact in the so-called
redesign, which only disguised the original crescent with a few irrelevant
trees, placed to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent.
The American people caught a hijacker trying to re-hijack Flight 93, and the
Memorial Project told him to go back outside and try again, which is exactly
what he did. Now they accuse Tom Burnett of wanting an improper
There were dozens of articles and television segments about the crescent
controversy this week, mostly in Pennsylvania, with some national news
coverage by Fox News television and AP. This
post is an attempt to capture the general thrust of the new wave of position
The Memorial Project is inverting every moral imperative at this point, and
it all comes from their fervent desire to reverse the results of September
2005. Their embrace of the crescent was rejected by America and they are
determined to undo that defeat, to the point of being willfully blind to
massive evidence of al Qaeda sympathizing intent.
The new face of the Memorial Project: Edward Felt’s wife and brother
take the lead
Sandra Felt, one of the Flight 93 family members who helped select the
Crescent of Embrace design, admits
that she never paid any attention to warnings about Islamic and terrorist
memorializing symbolism in the crescent design:
Sandra Felt has
known for nearly three years about complaints that the design of the
proposed Flight 93 National Memorial allegedly contains Islamic symbols, but
she never gave them any credence.
“I don’t even think about it,” said Felt, whose husband, Edward, died on …
United Airlines Flight 93.
And nobody blames her. It shouldn’t
be on the Flight 93 families to investigate evidence that any one of us can
easily fact check. But Sandra and her brother in law Gordon Felt, now
President of Families of Flight 93, are going further, pretending for some
reason that the charges people have made against architect Paul Murdoch are
actually being leveled against them.
How could that be, when three of the features that our petition lists
as unacceptable–the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent, the 44 glass
blocks on the flight path, and the giant Islamic sundial–were not even
discovered until after the crescent design was selected? Nobody blames the
family members for approving design features they had no inkling were there,
yet Gordon Felt says that warnings about the design are “quite hurtful, to think
we would want to create a memorial to those who murdered our loved ones.”
Nobody ever suggested any such thing, but Felt is getting as much mileage as
he can out of this excuse NOT to look at the facts, telling Fox News television:
I was outraged, for anyone to
infer that family members who have been such an integral part of this
process have in any way been involved in memorializing the murderers of our
loved ones. I find it extremely offensive.
This after expressing
his anger at Tom Burnett last week for Tom’s failure to submit to the
Memorial Project’s “dem
ocratic process.” Tom lost the jury vote, so in Felt’s view, he is
apparently supposed to shut up now. Strange view of democracy.
Along with Patrick White (brother of Louis Nacke II), Gordon Felt sees Mr.
Burnett as trying to get an improper “do over” by raising all these new
concerns. Presented with evidence of an enemy plot, Felt acts as if this new
information is cheating. Like Sandra, he is positively hostile even to the
idea of taking this information seriously.
Not surprisingly, this slope is slippery, and Gordon Felt now seems to be
deliberately misleading the public about the 44 inscribed translucent blocks
that are to be placed along the flight path.
Memorial Project misinformation, covered up by the media’s refusal
to check the facts
One of the claims in our petition is that there are 44 inscribed translucent
blocks, or “glass blocks,” to be placed along the flight path. Asked about
the 44 blocks by AP reporter Ramesh Santanam, Mr. Felt denied
Opponents also claim there is a plan to have 44 glass
blocks, for the 40 victims and four hijackers, in the design.
“That’s an absolute, unequivocal fabrication that is being portrayed as
fact,” said Edward Felt’s brother, Gordon Felt, president of Families of
Flight 93. “It’s misleading and helps drive the conspiracy theory.”
He said he is insulted people would believe he would participate in anything
that honored his brother’s killers.
Santanam presents these
directly opposing factual claims, and that’s it. No fact checking, when all
he has to do is open up the design
PDF’s and count the translucent blocks. It takes literally two minutes.
Open up the Sacred
Ground PDF and on the right side you see this:
At eye level, are 43 “glass” (or translucent marble) blocks, built into the
two part Memorial Wall that follows the flight path just above the impact
point. Forty are inscribed with the names of the 40 heroes. Three are
inscribed with the 9/11 date. (The blocks can be counted in an elevation
view at the bottom of the PDF.)
For the 44th glass block, go to the Entry Portal
PDF, which shows a giant glass block, marking the spot where the flight
path breaks the circle in architect Paul Murdoch’s description:
44th block sits at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway, which follows the
flight path at the upper crescent tip. Murdoch even has the brass to tell us
that it marks the terrorists’ circle-breaking crescent creating feat. To be
inscribed: “A field of honor forever.”
They have been covering it up for two years now.
The Memorial Project has known about this terrorist memorializing
block-count since April 2006, when Project Manager Jeff Reinbold argued that
the giant glass block at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway cannot be
counted with the others because it is so much bigger (Crescent of
3, p. 146). As Tom Burnett wrote in his February 1st advertisement in the Somerset Daily
What? Because the capstone to the terrorist
memorializing block count is magnificent, that is supposed to make it
But regardless of the merits of the Memorial Project’s
rationale for not being concerned about the 44 translucent memorial blocks
on the flight path, there can be no excuse for telling the public that this
claim is false. No one ever said that all the blocks would be the same size.
We have been explicit: the 44th block is the giant glass block that
dedicates the entire site.
Maybe Gordie Felt has a different dodge in mind. Maybe he is caviling over
the fact that the 44th block is made of slightly different material than the
other 43, being designated “glass” while the others are labeled “translucent
marble.” That’s like caviling about the size difference.
We can’t go repeating “44 inscribed translucent blocks on the flight path”
all the time, so we shorten it to “the 44 glass blocks” or “the 44 blocks.”
Is that Gordon Felt’s excuse for evading the fact that there are 44
inscribed translucent blocks on the flight path? We use a necessary
shorthand and his instinct for evasion says “aha!”?
Sorry Mr. Felt. That is NOT how you live up to your fiduciary responsibility
to the American people. You have accepted a position of trust and you trying
to hide the truth, not expose it.
The fourth petition complaint: that the giant crescent is STILL
One of the intolerable features of the soon-to-be-built memorial was known
to everyone involved in the jury process. That is the crescent and star
configuration of the original Crescent of Embrace design. When outrage
erupted in September 2005 over this the planting of a naked Islamic flag on
the graves of our murdered heroes, the Memorial Project was adamant they did
not want to change it. They had talked about the
likeness to an Islamic crescent during jury deliberations and decided that
they wanted to choose it anyway. When controversy erupted, they felt the
critics were trying to override what they thought was THEIR decision to
That position collapsed when Congressman Tancredo insisted that, intentional or not, it was
unacceptable to build the Flight 93 memorial in the shape of a symbol that
the Flight 93 terrorists claimed as their own. Pretty obvious one would
think, but the backers of the crescent design were bitterly angry about
having their preference overruled, just as they are now. They didn’t want to
change the design, and they DIDN’T change the design.
In the original, the terrorists break our liberty-loving circle, turning it
into a giant Mecca-oriented crescent. The Park Service describes
the so-called redesign in the exact same terms:
The circle is
broken in two places that mark the southeastern path of the plane to the
crash site. The circle is broken at the entry to the memorial and at the
It is still a broken circle, and it is still broken
in the exact same places. The only change is that, instead of the broken off
part being completely removed, a chunk of the broken off part of the circle
now floats out across part of the mouth of the crescent:
Except for the re-coloring of the redesign image (right), the only change is
the “broken off” arc of trees to the left of the crescent.
Both thematically and geometrically, nothing is changed. The unbroken part
of the circle (the crescent) remains completely intact. In particular, it
still points to Mecca, making it the world’s largest mihrab (the
Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built).
Sandy Felt seems pretty clear that the issue is still the giant
Sandy Felt, Edward Felt’s widow, was on the second
She said … that the issue of the crescent shape came up during discussions
because of a public comment card submitted.
Jurors were not willing to dismiss the design because of the name, “Crescent
of Embrace,” or the shape.
“There’s no particular ownership of this shape,” she said. “… We felt
confident with the notion that the void in the embrace was representative of
She and the other crescent defenders claim that it is Mr.
Burnett who wants a “redo” on this point, but it is actually THEY who are
looking for a “redo.” On this very point–on just the crescent shape itself,
without taking into account the numerous other Islamic and terrorist
memorializing features–it is the DEFENDERS of the crescent who lost the
popular vote in September 2005, not Tom Burnett.
Do the nine people who voted for the crescent design (the vote was 9 to 6)
really think that they have a greater claim to represent America’s
democratic voice than a United States Congressman, speaking for a national
uproar? Do they really think that it is THEIR prerogative to plant a
terrorist memorial mosque on the graves of our murdered heroes, no matter
what the rest of the country thinks?
America stood up in September 2005 and said OVER OUR DEAD BODIES. The
Memorial Project pretended to accede to this rejection, promising to remove
the Islamic symbol shapes, but they DIDN’T remove the crescent. They only
Democracy is the will of the American people, not the will of nine family
members, misguided by grief, who have fallen in love with a giant Islamic
shaped crescent. It is bad enough that an inflated sense of prerogative
makes these family members think it is okay to try to sneak their giant
crescent onto the crash site even after it has been publicly rejected. Worse
is their using their bitterness at being rebuffed as an excuse not to
witness the numerous further Islamic and terrorist memorializing design
features that have been discovered.
Every American feels tremendous sympathy for the grief of these families,
but that does not absolve those who have stepped up to positions of public
responsibility from the need to BE RESPONSIBLE. As much as the families may
want peace and healing, our nation is in the middle of what promises to be a
very long war with those who attacked us on 9/11. To be willfully blind to
evidence of an al Qaeda sympathizing plot is DANGEROUS.
Since these family members are embracing every excuse to evade evidence of
radical Islamic intent, they simply have to be overruled, and this time for
good. No more do-overs for terrorist memorial mosques.
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