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.