Government Spending

Federalizing Flight 93

|

Flight 93 Memorial

The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last describes the sordid tale of federalizing of the Flight 93 Memorial. "As is its wont, the federal government set out to improve this small piece of perfection," writes Last of the impending destruction of the spontaneous memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Naturally, a committee is formed. And once there is a committee, there has to be a mission statement:

The mission statement identified seven core goals: honoring the passengers and crew; revering the impact site as their final resting place; commemorating 9/11; celebrating the lives of the passengers and crew; expressing appreciation for their sacrifice; educating visitors; and offering "a place of comfort, hope, and inspiration." Coming up with this list took, by the commission's own account, "several months of workshops, an online forum," and other consensus-building vehicles….

The architects proclaimed that their plan was for a "living memorial" that "offers the visitor space for reflection, learning, social interaction, and healing." An 8,000-square-foot visitors' center (the temple of Lincoln Memorial is only 9,228 square feet) is also part of the scheme. The current temporary memorial is not. It will be demolished when the new memorial is erected, its former site marked only by the retention of a few benches where it once stood. The new memorial is projected to cost $44.7 million.

Read the whole sad tale.

NEXT: Porky in Wackyland

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I’m with you on this one. Damn if we don’t have an odd habit of memoralizing the worst moments in our history.

  2. I BROUGHT THE PLANE DOWN, BITCHES, THANKS FOR BUILDING A MEMORIAL TO MY WORK! I DESERVE A MONUMENT FOR ALL THIS SHIT, AND I’M GLAD THE FEDS ARE INVOLVED FINALLY! ZEUS MADE ME PECK THE LIVER OUT OF THE PILOTS AND THEN THE TERRORISTS, AND LET ME TELL YOU THAT ALL THAT JIHADI LIVER WAS EVEN WORSE TASTING THAN USUAL! MAYBE ALL THE PRAYING AND NOT DRINKING LIQUOR HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT, I CAN’T REALLY SAY FOR SURE, BUT I CAN TELL YOU THAT I’D RATHER SUFFER LIGHTNING BOLTS FOR ETERNITY THAN EAT THE LIVER OF ANYBODY ELSE IN A TURBAN!

    NOTE TO ZEUS: THAT IS NOT AN INVITATION YOUR INCORRIGIBLE ASSHOLE!

  3. At only $44.7m it is a downright bargain compared to the $182m for the WWII memorial. Now, let’s see just how much of this one gets privately financed.

  4. YOU INCORRIGIBLE ASSHOLE, THAT IS. MY FRUSTRATION WITH THE KING OF OLYMPUS CAUSES ME TO SPELL POORLY AT TIMES, AND TYPING WITH WINGS IS SURPRISINGLY DIFFICULT. DO NOT MOCK ME, JERKS!

  5. Here’s another memorial better than the federal one

    Lyrics by Echo’s Children:

    From pocket, purse and seatback, the telephones arise
    Victims of a hijack, calling home to say goodbyes
    Learn it’s no coincidence; the networks all have shown
    Lives and buildings pulverized in fire and falling stone.

    Exactly what took place in there, there’s none alive can say
    We only know the outcomes of decisions made that day
    We bow our heads in silence, honoring the free,
    Remembering the heroes of United 93.

    Someone must have realized; they haven’t got a qualm
    To kill our friends and neighbors, they’ll make this plane a bomb
    We’ve got to take the cabin back; if that much can’t be nailed
    God knows how many people will be dead because we failed.

    The bastards are outnumbered, and all they’ve got are knives.
    We haven’t much alternative; surrender won’t save lives
    Our families, our children; their grief we cannot spare
    The fields ahead are empty; let us end the struggle there.

    The rest of us are thinking how best to manage strife
    A blanket makes a blindfold, a pillow slows a knife;
    The next poor chumps who try it, will find we’ve paid the fee
    For lessons from the heros of United 93.

  6. Is there anything at all that the federal government doesn’t feel the need to get its grimy, bureaucratic hands in?

  7. You must admit though, if the current makeshift memorial had been put together by the government, you’d all be complaining about how ugly it is and how it should be replaced by something more elegant.

  8. Maybe there’s room on the committee for you, Dan. It’ll give you something to do other than feeling the need to comment in every single HnR thread.

  9. When, oh when will the federal government at long last begin its memorial to the tragedy of Oceanic Flight No. 815 and let the healing begin?

  10. What, in conjunction with consulting fees for the usual gang of blood-sucking ghouls and the Davis- Bacon Act, could result in this astronomical price tag?

    If they want a memorial, why not grab a mothballed plane out of the desert, paint it in the appropriate livery, and stick it (“Cadillac Ranch” -style) nose first in that field and call it good?

  11. Great googly moogly.

    STOP IT, STOP IT RIGHT NOW. GO TO YOUR ROOM.

  12. What you don’t realize, DAR, is that I’m not actually typing my reply to your post about Lost today. No, I’m typing it at some point in the future!

    I have nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, but the fact that I’m typing this from the future is surely a shocking revelation that will keep you riveted for months!

    (And those who don’t know what I’m talking about obviously didn’t see last night’s Lost finale.)

  13. thoreau,

    And we’re all better for it.

  14. Actually, you would have liked it. The French person performs a task that’s crucial for their escape from the island, and then knocks out the leader of the bad guys.

  15. Then immediately waves a white flag, eats a pound of stinky cheese, and passes out with a bottle of wine.

  16. thoreau,

    That’s nice. Did this “French person” (whoever they may be) do all of this while drinking coffee and OJ and eating a croissant?

  17. How did the crash site come to be government property in the first place? (I didn’t see anything about that in my quick scan of the article.)

  18. The French person performs a task that’s crucial for their escape from the island, and then knocks out the leader of the bad guys.

    I’m trying to imagine a scenario where condescending put-downs of the more enterprising and productive cast-aways was crucial for their escape from the island.

    As for knocking out the bad guts, I suspect that just walking upwind of them would do the trick.

  19. Timothy,

    What are you doing here? I thought all the cool people were at grylliade?

  20. That’s nice. Did this “French person” (whoever they may be) do all of this while drinking coffee and OJ and eating a croissant?

    Non, non. He waz wearing a beret and a T-shirt wiz broad horizontale red and white stripez, while lonzing around at an outdoor cafe, smoking ze clove cigarettes.

  21. I thought all the cool people were at grylliade?

    Le Grylliade, you mean. Oh ho ho!

  22. Rumor has it that there’s a deleted scene where Danielle Rousseau head-butts the leader of the bad guys.

    🙂

  23. Frenchie Francois,

    Well, you know, they’re the coolest and stuff. I mean, they have their little place to talk about people and stuff. I mean yeah man they are the awesomest and stuff.

  24. Well, you know, they’re the coolest and stuff. I mean, they have their little place to talk about people and stuff. I mean yeah man they are the awesomest and stuff.

    You mean France?

  25. You ever go to the mall and watch people, Grotius? It’s like that, but with more Francophiles and fewer pregnant teenagers.

  26. “Then immediately waves a white flag, eats a pound of stinky cheese, and passes out with a bottle of wine.”

    Overpriced wine at that.

    Grotius, was that, like, an impersonation of, you know, how Americans, like, talk and stuff?

  27. I am Danielle of the Minbari. Only one earth captain has survived battle with the Minbari fleet. He is behind me. You are in front of me. If you value your lives… be somewhere else.

    Maybe the aliens in the “freighter” 80 miles off the coast are warrior caste Minbari.

  28. Frenchie Francois,

    No, I mean grylliade (the blog) of course.

  29. if the current makeshift memorial had been put together by the government

    Odd hypothetical. When does the Federal government ever do anything makeshift?

    OK, post-war planning for Iraq, but other than that …

  30. Grotius,

    Oh! Oh ho ho, mon frere! Very good! A very good one. You ween, my friend. You ween. I surrendaire.

  31. joe,

    No, not really.

    Most French wine is pretty cheap. Certainly no more expensive than say California, etc. wines.

  32. The Okla. City bomb site memorial cost $24million, which included cost of demolishing the Murrah Building. What the heck would be wrong with a plinth carrying the names of those on the plane, and a few descriptive plaques? There are Civil War skirmish sites with far more casualties that don’t even have more than a roadside marker.

  33. I’d like to see more interactive features.

    Maybe one where you could try to break down a replica of the cabin door with a drink cart.

    Or a flight simulator where you try to pull out of a dive. Or a VR box-cutter capture-the-flag or a death match.

    It’s extreme and the teens will love it!

  34. In Mr. Steven Crane’s absence today, I’m gonna step in and congratulate you all on this (somewhat pissy) banter. This time it’s FUNNY. See, that’s all it takes.

    Good job, all! Carry on.

    Next up: How Rome fell due to extreme autocorrelation and heteroskedastic relationships.

    And lots of BATIN, of course.

  35. I always suspected thoreau was/is/will be from the future. Unfortunately, I ascribe to a branching theory of time in which there is no particular reason to believe he will be in my possible world or, as the Lost creators put it, my place somewhere in the space time continuum. Just remember, thoreau, that where/whenever you are in the future, you must wear a really bad false beard and rant pathetically “We never should have left the blog!”

    I’ve never thought of Rousseau as being French. French Canadian, perhaps, but if she were really French she’d refuse to speak English and refer to Ben, et al. as les Autres.

    My sources inform me the offshore boat turns out not to be a rescue ship but only cruising the neighborhood to offer cable TV. Unfortunately, the survivors can’t decide on which premium package to buy, so the boat leaves them, tragically, one early morning with nothing but basic cable. This causes Hurley to snap once and for all and at the end of Season Four, he eats Ben and his imaginary pal Jerry after dunking them in a 100 gallon vat of Dharma chocolate syrup.

  36. I DO NOT WANT TO BE AN INTERACTIVE FEATURE AT MY OWN MONUMENT! EATING THAT MANY LIVERS IS GOING TO GET REALLY, REALLY ANNOYING PRETTY QUICKLY AND, DAMMIT, CHILDREN JUST CAN’T RUN FAST ENOUGH TO MAKE CHASING THEM ANY KIND OF FUN. MY WORK DAY IS ALSO LONG ENOUGH, THANKS, AND IT’S NOT LIKE THE KING OF OLYMPUS PAYS WELL, I’VE GOT KIDS TO FEED, AND THEY’RE GETTING MIGHTY SICK OF LIVER TOO! SO, NO, INTERACTIVE FEATURES ARE RIGHT OUT BECAUSE I CAN’T JUST SIT AROUND ALL DAY, DAMN.

  37. Just remember, thoreau, that where/whenever you are in the future, you must wear a really bad false beard and rant pathetically “We never should have left the blog!”

    My wife won’t let me do that, nor will she let me develop crushes on fugitive women.

    However, thanks to the miracle of time travel I can make an announcement: All of you will die at some point. Maybe tomorrow, maybe 100 years from now, maybe somewhere in between. No matter what I do, you’re going to die.

    Which means that Ron Bailey was wrong about transhumanism.

  38. In an infinite number of branching futures, she won’t be your wife. In fact, possible world logic being what it is, in an infinite number of those futures you’ll be married to Ron Bailey.

  39. VM,

    And here I was trying to be serious and stuff man.

    Anyway, clearly sometimes some of the grylliaders need to be taken down a notch or two.

  40. In an infinite number of branching futures…

    This sounds suspiciously like degenerate Physicist talk.

  41. VM,

    Then again, that’s true of all of us. Except for the physicists. They’re like, you know, Gods of Metaphysics and stuff.

  42. In fact, possible world logic being what it is, in an infinite number of those futures you’ll be married to Ron Bailey.

    Oh, great, that means there’s an infinite number of futures where I’m forced to listen to transhumanist speculation on Exxon-funded junkets! 🙂

    (I keed! I keed!)

  43. “As for knocking out the bad guts…”

    Isn’t that what the wine is for?

  44. That’s only what We look like when We deign to show Ourselves to you mere mortals. Amongst Ourselves, in the higher plane where We can congregate without mortal interference, We look like a bunch of geeks.

  45. This sounds suspiciously like degenerate Physicist talk.

    Well, I’m okay on the degenerate part at least.

  46. thoreau,

    Shhh, don’t drop out of Straussian mode.

  47. VM: Dude, Rome’s sample mean is like, so totally biased.

  48. Timothy:

    iz not. I’m using the robust Qreg. High breakdown MM robust regression. GARCH. um. Durbin Watson. So there!

    Gro:

    love it!

    hier is the Top Ten List Why Physicists Are Like Wile E. Coyote.

    und hier

    vee know vot zee “scientists” are really like! oh ja. vee do.

    [evil laughter. fades away. stubs toe on pebble usually reserved for kicking]

  49. VM,

    Ever see “physicist pr0n?” That is some pretty scary stuff.

  50. Wow, an 8000 square foot building for $44.7 million. That’s only $5587 per square foot. I don’t know what all the complaining is about. Of course, it’ll probably be about twice that once the “cost overruns” kick in.

  51. Durbin Watson RULEZ!

  52. VM,

    You forgot to mention our post on “5 Ways Science Wants to Kill You”. It’s illustrated, too.

  53. You forgot to mention our post on “5 Ways Science Wants to Kill You”. It’s illustrated, too.

    Breeding Mutant Croc-O-Men

    The Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Miami maintains, no shit, a wildlife preserve around its twin reactors- twenty thousand acres of swamp and wetland home to seventeen endangered species.

    Frankly, that’s suspicious. There’s only one class of person that surrounds uranium reactors with pristine wilderness and carefully-tended rare animals, and it’s usually James Bond’s job to kill them.

    Funny thing. Many years ago, when I was a Project Engineer on the Keys Bridge Replacement Program I ran into a guy who worked at Turkey Point.

    He spoke of huge langostas that lived in the coolant discharge canals there. Apparently the warm water combined with the non-interference of humans conspired to create these monsters. For what it’s worth the same giant lobsters also live out in the Bahamas where harvesting pressure is not as great and the Dry Tortugas where they are protected by a fishing ban.

    I’d like to think that the giant langostas of Turkey Point were some kind of mutants but sadly I must conclude there are other reasons.

  54. Mind you,the “non-interference of humans”, did not extend the the operating engineers and other maintenance folks on the facility. At around 10 AM some one would catch a few of the beasties, wrap then in tin foil and strap them to the muffler of a handy dozer or frontend loader.

    By lunch time a tasty feast was ready.

  55. Issac B. clearly violated the Prime Directive.

    ProGLib – execute order 66.

  56. Wait, is that the one where I kill the Jedi or the one where I order Scotty to exterminate an entire planet if they don’t make peace with some third party?

    Isaac,

    No, they’re mutants. Be afraid. Be very afraid. I’m safe, because I’ve stockpiled 10,000 gallons of drawn butter and have one of those miniature forks. . .made of titanium.

  57. Disrupt the power on the planet below, and you’ll see if you’re right…

    condition green. nothing to report.

    [evil laughter]

  58. That was stupid, Jim. Never screw with the Romans. They’ve got swords and stuff.

    VM,

    highnumber and I want to borrow Monkey Tuesday for Urkobold. Have any monkey stories? We could always make them up, being a troll site and everything.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.