An Unfitting Tribute

Thus quoteth Confucius:

...if there is careful attention to burial rites, if the offerings are made to the dead, the people, I promise you, will turn fully to Excellence.

Word dawg. Word.

However, it's doubtful the people turn to excellence when this "careful attention" includes confiscating 500 acres of land. Then again, this ain't China:

The government will begin taking land from seven property owners so that the Flight 93 memorial can be built in time for the 10th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, the National Park Service said.

In a statement obtained by The Associated Press, the park service said it had teamed up with a group representing the victims' families to work with landowners since before 2005 to acquire the land.

"But with few exceptions, these negotiations have been unsuccessful," said the statement.

Landowners dispute that negotiations have taken place and say they are disappointed at the turn of events.

The seven property owners own about 500 acres still needed for what will ultimately be a $58 million, 2,200-acre permanent memorial and national park at the crash site near Shanksville, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

 ...The next step will be for the U.S. Justice Department to file a complaint in federal court. A court would have to decide the matter and would set a value on the land.

Whole thing here.

With all due respect to the victims' families pushing for this memorial–what the fuck?  The dead are not honored by taking from the living. As for the $58 million to be blown on a permanent whatever, a more lasting tribute to their sacrifice can be found here, here, and here (just to name a few).

High Five: The Knight Shift

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  • ||

    Why can't you just put a plaque or a nice statue up and call it a day? I mean what possible need could there be to take 500 acres. That is damn near a square mile. What the hell is wrong with people?

  • Vines & Cattle||

    500 acres?!?!?!?? What. The. Fuck.

  • Vines & Cattle||

    Wait, I misread, 2200 acres!?!?!?!?!?

    WTF?

  • High Every Body||

    They already have more than enough land for a memorial.

    I do believe if the issue is parking or facilities, private land owners are more than up to that task of providing those services, in a much more efficient manner and cost than the government.

  • Confucius||

    Thus quoteth Confucius

    Confucius quote no one! Everything Confucius say is original!

  • ||

    I stand corrected it is 2200 acres. This is just sucking blood from the dead. A nice statue would be good enough but wouldn't be a tourist trap. They want all that land so they can create some kind of macabe tourist attraction and make money. Gross.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Do we really need another mational park? This seems more about creating pointless jobs than honoring the dead.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    *national*

  • ed||

    "Let's roll! And steal some land!"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I suspect Halliburton found oil under that land. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!

  • kinnath||

    There is nothing more dangerous than a sincere do-gooder with an agenda.

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    2200 acres is about a mile radius around the crash site. I don't think that's all that much, assuming the crash merits more than a historical marker by a highway (which I think it does). The eminent domain is what's irritating since it seemed to be the bureaucrats' first resort, rather than last.

  • High Every Body||

    2200 acres is about a mile radius around the crash site. I don't think that's all that much, assuming the crash merits more than a historical marker by a highway (which I think it does). The eminent domain is what's irritating since it seemed to be the bureaucrats' first resort, rather than last.

    Then have them build it at your house.

  • ||

    "I'm from the government...

    ...and I'm here to assrape you in the name of others!"

  • ||

    Yes, that should read, "thus spake Confucius," or, "quoth Confucius," but more to the point...

    Let this serve as official notice: If I am ever killed in some tragic crash or conflagration or other spectacular disaster, I will come back from the dead to haunt any asshole who seeks to memorialize my death in any grand fashion over and above a simple marker under a newly planted tree. My loved ones can mourn and remember me without fanfare and without stealing land from the poor shlub on whose property my demise occurred.

    Got it?

  • ||

    2200 acres for a new 'national park' is absurd. Eminent domain taking is an abomination. I'd guess none would object to a simple gravel parking lot that might hold 25 cars next to a simple granite obelisk of modest proportions. Damn idiotic!

  • Warty||

    Is it libertymike who keeps insisting that Flight 93 was shot down?

  • High Every Body||

    I'd guess none would object to a simple gravel parking lot that might hold 25 cars next to a simple granite obelisk of modest proportions.

    It wasn't granite, it was indestructium. Have to leave some bones around for the primates to use as weapons too.

  • High Every Body||

    Is it libertymike who keeps insisting that Flight 93 was shot down?

    Not sure. He must be confusing 9/11 with a couple of failed Mars landings.

  • ed||

    a more lasting tribute to their sacrifice...

    It was hardly a "sacrifice," but calling it so is what makes this land grab possible. An appeal to patriotism plus altruism is irresistible to most Americans.

  • ||

    I guess this is just the first of three new national parks. Are they condemning 500 acres around the twin tower site and also around the pentagon for parks. This could get expensive.

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    HEB - ...uh United 93 didn't crash on my property?

    The property owners were all amenable to and interested in the project but its planners unnecessarily resorted to eminent domain rather than working out a deal with them. Sucks. But the idea that making the crash site (and it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a crash to rain debris over a 2200 acre area) a preserved National Historical Site is some kinda disgrace is retarded.

  • Xeones||

    It was shot down, Warty! And... and... and the GUBBERMENT is taking all this land so they can, like, cover up the missile fragments, man! Yeah!

  • T||

    I'd guess none would object to a simple gravel parking lot that might hold 25 cars next to a simple granite obelisk of modest proportions.

    It's insufficient to convey the magnitude of the sacrifice. We have to be able to see the memorial from orbit.

  • High Every Body||

    Are they condemning 500 acres around the twin tower site and also around the pentagon for parks.

    Not sure about NYC, but the Pentagon memorial has been finished for a while, done with private donations and on land already owned by the feds.

  • High Every Body||

    HEB - ...uh United 93 didn't crash on my property?

    And it didn't crash across 2700 acres either.

  • jpocali||

    To create a second set of victims by confiscating their land to create a memorial for another group of victims seems to be the apex of stupidity. If even a single citizen is forced off of their land this memorial will be forever tainted. Why would you want to disrespect the dead like that?

    On another note... over 2,000 acres? Really? For what? Not to be crass, but there is nothing there anymore, it is just a big field not unlike EVERY FIELD FROM THERE TO IOWA!

    Remember the people, remember the day, hold those you love close, and weep for those who are gone, but don't destroy the lives of the living to pay tribute to the dead.

  • ||

    A mile radius doesn't seem excessive? A mile diameter is excessive. If the site were 30 acres it would be sufficient, including parking. Afterall, it's in The Middle of Nowhere, PA. No one will see it if it's not on their way to somewhere else. And driving through Pennsylvania sucks as it is.

  • T||

    But the idea that making the crash site (and it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for a crash to rain debris over a 2200 acre area) a preserved National Historical Site is some kinda disgrace is retarded.

    There. Much more succinct and to the point.

  • High Every Body||

    FN,

    Let's just take all the land the plane passed over too. Plus the homes of all the passengers and crew. And the people who worked on the plane on the ground.

    The factories where the planes were constructed are monuments to this tragic day too . . .

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    Without having seen the site plan I shouldn't comment, but a 2200 acre condemnation could have all kinds of reasonable justifications including connections to highways (I believe the crash site was pretty remote), inclusion of debris fields, site contiguity, etc... Seriously 2200 acres= not that big. If it hadn't been for the strongarming of the property this wouldn't be a big deal.

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    Let's just take all the land the plane passed over too. Plus the homes of all the passengers and crew. And the people who worked on the plane on the ground.

    The smart... it hurts!

  • ||

    I don't think that's all that much, assuming the crash merits more than a historical marker by a highway (which I think it does).

    Why? As these things go, the death toll wasn't all that great. There are hundreds of Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields with bigger body counts that get by with a plaque, if that.

    Why do we want to glorify the greatest success of our enemies?

  • Zeb||

    "What the Fuck" seems to be the appropriate reaction. A small memorial would be quite sufficient. It was a horrible tragic event, but that doesn't meant that everyone needs to come see it. There is nothing to see.

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    Why do we want to glorify the greatest success of our enemies?

    Like by putting up a big list of the names of the guys the VC killed? Or by memorializing Timothy McVeigh's accomplishments? We have a national memorial to AIDS victims and David Berger. Memorials are usually to tragedies. A waste of tax money, probably, but not necessarily that high scoring on the Outrage Meter.

  • grimaldius mensch||

    Seriously 2200 acres= not that big. If it hadn't been for the strongarming of the property this wouldn't be a big deal

    And that's exactly why this is a big deal.

  • ||

    Why do we want to glorify the greatest success of our enemies?

    Our enemies? I consider the actions of the passengers of Flight 93 to be one of our greatest victories. Ordinary Americans didn't wait for the government to act, but instead took the initiative of citizen soldiers acting in self defense with the limited weapons available to them. In quintessential American fashion they even voted first. What could be more libertarian?

    There should be a memorial in Shanksville. Instead of some touchy-feely grove of trees loaded with Islamic symbolism, it should be a statue of a group of ordinary people, pushing a beverage cart into a cowering piece of shit who is screaming in terror from his impending death.

    That being said, the whole eminent domain taking for the land is total bull shit.

  • kinnath||

    Seriously 2200 acres= not that big

    One square mile equals 640 acres.

    3+ square miles is excessive.

  • ||

    My loved ones can mourn and remember me without fanfare and without stealing land from the poor shlub on whose property my demise occurred.

    Your loved ones are not a bunch of self-serving professional victims, apparently.

    ----

    Are they condemning 500 acres around the twin tower site

    The Sisterhood of Professional Victims has tied up reconstruction for years.

  • ||

    With all due respect to the victims' families pushing for this memorial

    Respect due = 0.

    Next question.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I've been to the "temporary" memorial, which was quite moving. It was being operated by local officials and volunteers. I can't imagine the Park Service improving on those local efforts.

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    Description of impending memorial design here. Gonna be pretty gay and incorporate wind chimes.

  • ||

    And driving through Pennsylvania sucks as it is.

    Hey! Where do you get off saying shit like that!?!?!??!?

    I've driven coast-to-coast and PA is close to the least boring states to cross west-to-east or east-to-west. Have you driven in the South? Have you driven the plains? NYC to Philly to Pittsburgh is an awesome drive drive.

    Now it has the added bonus of a national park! What fun!

  • ||

    Good point, Marshall. Caveat: I haven't seen the current plans, but I wonder if this will be a monument to the passengers as American heroes, or a monument to the passengers as victims. I still think a roadside plaque, maybe housed in a smallish building, and at most a marker where the plane hit.

    The Viet Nam War Memorial isn't a monument to failure. The military didn't lose Viet Nam; Congress did, when it broke our promise of support to South Viet Nam.

    The AIDS Memorial is craven PC pandering. The Oklahoma City Memorial, meh. Perhaps a plaque, no more.

  • Loupeznik||

    So why aren't they converting the whole Pentagon into a memorial?

  • High Every Body||

    One square mile equals 640 acres.

    3+ square miles is excessive.


    Don't confuse the land grabbing impearialist with facts.

    So why aren't they converting the whole Pentagon into a memorial?

    Because the government already owns it. Same reason they are not taking Arlington National Cemetary, right next door.

    I suppose they could take the mall across 395, but then the Pentagon workers would be stuck witl all of the cafeterias they already have inside the building.

  • ||

    Pennsylvania roads suck, phalkor. I've driven much of the country and PA finds a way to be atrocious on a level all its own.

  • Fluffy||

    Without having seen the site plan I shouldn't comment, but a 2200 acre condemnation could have all kinds of reasonable justifications including connections to highways (I believe the crash site was pretty remote), inclusion of debris fields, site contiguity, etc... Seriously 2200 acres= not that big. If it hadn't been for the strongarming of the property this wouldn't be a big deal.

    Dude, come on. Your first post on the subject captured your real opinion, so stop rationalizing:

    I don't think that's all that much, assuming the crash merits more than a historical marker by a highway (which I think it does).

    Basically you admit there that the reason all this land has to be taken is so the memorial can be imposing.

    This is just another page in the story of the supreme vulgarity of modern statist America. It can come on the page after the entire Freedom Tower debacle and right before the WWII Memorial horror story. Building a 2200 acre memorial would be crass even if they weren't using eminent domain to do it. Using eminent domain makes it an atrocity.

  • ||

    "The Viet Nam War Memorial isn't a monument to failure. The military didn't lose Viet Nam; Congress did, when it broke our promise of support to South Viet Nam."

    It was meant to be. Mia Lin is a nasty bitch. But fortunately public art belongs to the public not the artist. The actual Veterans made what was designed to be a nasty scar on the mall representing pointless deaths into tribute to their sacrifice. It was supposed to be a slap in the face to the vets and the vets took it and made it their own.

  • ||

    "It can come on the page after the entire Freedom Tower debacle and right before the WWII Memorial horror story."

    I was skeptical about that memorial. But I was pleasently surprised. They did it very well with a low profile that didn't destroy the mall. I like that memorial and it is not a horror show.

  • Fluffy||

    By the way, guys, I think I should point out that the fact that we don't want taxpayer money used and private property seized to build some Soviet Realist eyesore in the middle of Pennsylvania would be used by most leftists as evidence of libertarian "mean-spiritedness".

    We just don't have enough empathy to understand the simple and pure hearts of Americans, who want to be able to be moved to tears by beautiful [large] memorials commemorating both the noble, and tragic, parts of our history.

    Can't you please think of all the generations of schoolchildren who will be bussed to this memorial? Why, oh why, can't we ever consider how moved the world will be when Spielberg shoots there on location?

  • ||

    "I think I should point out that the fact that we don't want taxpayer money used and private property seized to build some Soviet Realist eyesore in the middle of Pennsylvania would be used by most leftists as evidence of libertarian "mean-spiritedness".

    Wait until you see the Soviet realist angry black man statue they are doing of MLK on the national mall. They are going to make the poor bastard look like a comination of Huey Long and Mao. I guess shoting him once isn't enough for some people.

  • ||

    make that Huey Newton, not Huey Long.

  • High Every Body||

    Huey Lewis?

  • Fluffy||

    They did it very well

    False.

    with a low profile

    False.

    that didn't destroy the mall.

    False.

    I like that memorial

    That is because you have no taste.

    Basically your contrasting statements about the WWII memorial and the Viet Nam memorial make it clear where you're coming from.

    Even though the Viet Nam memorial is one of the most successful pieces of public art of all time, because you think you don't like the politics of the artist, you still declare the creative act that produced the work a failure, and try to claim that the only reason it works is because of some mystical "emergent property" of the people that visit there. Thank you Marcel Duchamp.

    But you like the WWII memorial, despite the fact that it's a tacky piece of garbage that marred the intent of a city architect that had worked well for nearly two centuries, because it celebrates the veterans of that war in the "right" way.

    Typical.

  • ||

    how moved the world will be when Spielberg shoots there on location?

    Space aliens, on the verge of wiping out the human race, will gaze in awe upon the simple majesty of the memorial and invite us to join their great circle of intergalactic love and respect.

    Then, we kill them.

  • ||

    "Even though the Viet Nam memorial is one of the most successful pieces of public art of all time, because you think you don't like the politics of the artist, you still declare the creative act that produced the work a failure, and try to claim that the only reason it works is because of some mystical "emergent property" of the people that visit there."


    You clearly didn't read or understand what I wrote. The Veitnam memorial is enormously successful despite the best efforts of the architect. The public owns it and the public made it special.

    As far as the WWII memorial, again, a least among every vet I have met who has seen it, it has been well recieved and is well like by the public. The fact that you don't like it is your problem, not any one else's.

  • ||

    There is too much wrong here to detail.

    Fuck memorials paid for or maintained with tax dollars. That includes this one. If sailors and descendents won't come up with the 'effin cash for it, it doesn't deserve to exist.

  • phalkor||

    Pennsylvania roads suck, phalkor. I've driven much of the country and PA finds a way to be atrocious on a level all its own.


    you mean you don't like short on-ramps and potholes? you crazy.

  • High Every Body||

    Then, we kill them.

    You had to spoil the happy ending for me, didn't you?

  • ||

    you mean you don't like short on-ramps and potholes? you crazy.

    What about forty mile stretches of "work zones" squeezed down to a single lane where there is no evidence whatsoever of any actual "work" being done.

    God how I used to love driving across I-80.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Description of impending memorial design here. Gonna be pretty gay and incorporate wind chimes.



    My god. That is bleak.

    If it was a dog, I'd shave its butt and make it walk backwards.

  • Jennifer||

    We have no victories to celebrate anymore, so we make a fetish out of our defeats instead. Vietnam, 9/11, blah blah blah. It's like the Southerners who still refuse to admit that the Confederacy is a lost cause (and was a vile one at that).

    Also, I suspect the Vietnam War memorial will be considered far less attractive when there are no longer people alive who can point to a given name on the wall and say "Hey, yeah, I knew that guy. Good man, good man."

  • ||

    I haven't seen the current plans, but I wonder if this will be a monument to the passengers as American heroes, or a monument to the passengers as victims.

    Oh, you can be certain that it will be a celebration of victimhood. The original design, which has been only slightly modified, was going to be called "The Crescent of Embrace". After it was pointed out that a Crescent is an Islamic symbol, they changed it a tiny bit and renamed it "Circle of Embrace", but still leaving the crescent intact.

    Yep, a "memorial" to average Americans standing up to shit bag mass murderers has the word "Embrace" in it's name!! One has to assume that those who approved of the design believe that the passengers and shit-bags all sang Kumbaya as the plane went down. They were all simply victims of American Imperialism, you see. BARF!

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    Basically you admit there that the reason all this land has to be taken is so the memorial can be imposing.

    No not really. I'm ok with there being no memorial bullshit (reflecting pools, bullshit windchimes, whatever...) there at all, but I don't have a problem with making a large park if it's necessary for preserving a historic site. Gettysburg National Monument (taken with SCOTUS-approved eminent domain) isn't its size because it needed to be magisterial - it needed to include the site.

    Anyway, the main issue with this is the eminent domain. Are there no states/jurisdictions that require agencies to demonstrate they negotiated in good faith before resorting to e.d.?

  • ed||

    we make a fetish out of our defeats

    True enough, but Flight 93 wasn't a defeat. In fact it was the only victory of the day.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I think the new memorial might be a bit much (and add all the libertarian disclaimers about seizing the land, taxes paying for it, and so on and so forth) but I also think Marshall Gill has been listening to too many late-night radio talk shows.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    we make a fetish out of our defeats

    True enough, but Flight 93 wasn't a defeat. In fact it was the only victory of the day.



    Damn skippy!

    And generated without any government help by the combination of distributed communications, decentralized decision making, and the ability of ordinary people to form and ad hoc team.

    An obelisk and a plaque would be good. Maybe with an eternal flame, if its not too tacky.

    "The final resting place of ordinary Americans who stood up to terrorists and paid the ultimate price."

  • Dr C||

    So we celebrate freedom by forcing private landowners to sell their land. Makes total sense!

  • alan||

    Pennsylvania roads suck, phalkor. I've driven much of the country and PA finds a way to be atrocious on a level all its own.

    The only states more boring to drive through East of the Mississippi is Mississippi and Maine. Even Alabama is a more agreeable experience than driving through Penn.

  • T||

    The only states more boring to drive through East of the Mississippi is Mississippi and Maine.

    Mississippi is the only state I've driven through where I pray for car accidents to break the monotony.

  • ||

    I also think Marshall Gill has been listening to too many late-night radio talk shows.

    I have never listened to late-night talk shows. What do they say?

    I would have thought it pretty common knowledge that a crescent is an Islamic symbol. Has this become untrue because someone on talk radio said it? All just a part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy"?

    Few, if any, Islamic countries lack a crescent on their national flags. Even the most cursory knowledge of Islam indicates that the crescent is an Islamic symbol.

    Are you claiming is is NOT an Islamic symbol?

  • ||

    2,200 acres? $58 million? We have become a nation of necrophiliacs.

  • T||

    2,200 acres? $58 million? We have become a nation of necrophiliacs.

    My girlfriend would take issue with that if she were alive.

  • DJK||

    Did they ever even find any plane out there?

  • ||

    The Viet Nam War Memorial isn't a monument to failure. The military didn't lose Viet Nam; Congress did, when it broke our promise of support to South Viet Nam.



    Actually, it was the South Vietnamese who lost the war, a little more than two years after we declared victory and ledt.

  • ||

    Uh, that should be "left," not "ledt."

  • ||

    But you like the WWII memorial, despite the fact that it's a tacky piece of garbage that marred the intent of a city architect that had worked well for nearly two centuries, because it celebrates the veterans of that war in the "right" way.



    What "city architect"? L'Enfant? Because his plan for the city left the WW2 Memorial site in the Potomac River.

  • Fascitis Necrotizante||

    At least the Shanksville memorial won't have a nine story vagina like the Russian 9-11 memorial in Bayonne.

  • ||

    How about if we just give each victim's family $2 million, and let them memorialize it themselves?
    Seems much more "democratic" that way.

  • High Every Body||

    True enough, but Flight 93 wasn't a defeat. In fact it was the only victory of the day.

    It was a defeat for the Leftoids. They had two victories that day. Just ask Ward Churchill or Bill Mahr.

  • alan||

    thomas crown | May 8, 2009, 2:20pm | #
    How about if we just give each victim's family $2 million, and let them memorialize it themselves?
    Seems much more "democratic" that way.


    Sadly, I have little doubt it would be ultimately cheaper.

  • Fluffy||

    You clearly didn't read or understand what I wrote. The Veitnam memorial is enormously successful despite the best efforts of the architect. The public owns it and the public made it special.

    Dude, I understood exactly what you said. Better than you did. And you were kind enough to restate it here.

    You seem to be claiming that even though the memorial itself is rotten, people feel an overwhelming emotional response when they view it, because "the public made it special".

    Well then, why doesn't the public make random piles of dog shit "special"? Why don't huge numbers of veterans walk up to every pile of dog shit in every public park in America, and break into tears?

    Please spare me this "the public made it special" nonsense. The artist made it special. Period.

    As far as the WWII memorial, again, a least among every vet I have met who has seen it, it has been well recieved

    If they tore up the Jefferson Memorial and built a fucking outhouse and made it a monument to me, I'd probably think it was pretty nice too.

  • ||

    Please spare me this "the public made it special" nonsense. The artist made it special. Period.

    I think its more of a collaboration, myself. Meaning comes from context, especially the meaning of public art, and the public, especially the Viet Nam War veterans, made the context for that memorial.

    Maya Lin designed something that was somewhat abstract and invited contemplation (and bless her for that). But it is the nature of abstract art that it invites the audience to project meaning onto it. The meaning that the audience projects onto the memorial is heavily conditioned by the audience's expectations and preconceptions, formed by its history and image since it opened.

    As first presented, it could easily have become the backdrop for every lefty protest in DC. As is it is now, that is almost literally unthinkable.

  • ||

    The feds plan to condem the area. How the fuck do you condem a naturally wooded area and keep a straight face?

  • Kolohe||

    I agree with the flesh eating bacterium.

    This doesn't get my dander up at all wrt to 'emminent domain abuse'. These are compensated public takings for public use. All the proper processes have been observed.

  • jpocali||

    All the proper processes have been observed?

    When the government forces someone off of their land (compensated or not) proper processes have NEVER been observed!

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