Memorial Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley's response to 6/08 email campaign that demanded to know WHO is being depicted as breaking the circle and turning it into a giant crescent. (The only possible answer is the terrorists, because the circle is a symbol of peace, and the passengers and crew cannot be included amongst those who broke the peace.)
Hanley refuses to address the question of who broke the circle. She mentions the question, then heads off in another direction and does not answer it.
From: Joanne_Hanley@nps.gov <Joanne_Hanley@nps.gov>
Subject: Re: WHO broke the circle?
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 6:54 PMDear _________________:Thank you for your e mail of June 23, 2008, in which you expressed concernsthat the Flight 93 National Memorial somehow pays homage to Islam. . TheNational Park Service (NPS) is keenly aware of these concerns, and tooksteps in 2005 to investigate this issue. In doing so, the NPS consultedwith the Families of Flight 93, university and religious scholars, all ofwhom have concluded that the memorial design does not imply or depict anyreligious iconography. In light of those findings, the National ParkService and all three of its partner organizations continue to support thefinal design for the Flight 93 memorial.You also had questions about "who broke the circle." The naturaltopography of the site upon which the memorial sits is in the shape of abowl, or a circle. This "circle of embrace" follows the geography,andpoints your attention down to the Sacred Ground, the crash site where the40 heroes of Flight 93 gave their lives combating the terrorists. The treessurrounding this "circle of embrace" are missing, or broken, in twoplaces;first, where the flight path of the plane came overhead (which is thelocation of the planned memorial overlook and visitor center) and second,where the plane crashed at the Sacred Ground (depicted by a ceremonial gateand pathway into the Sacred Ground).||| [ellipses in original]Four organizations collaborated to organize and implement the process forchoosing a memorial design. The Families of Flight 93 is a nonprofitorganization of family members of the passengers and crew who died on theflight. The Flight 93 Advisory Commission was created by Congress toprepare “a report containing recommendations for the planning, design,construction, and long-term management of a permanent memorial at the crashsite.” The Flight 93 Memorial Task Force serves as the Commission’soperational arm and consists of approximately 80 to 90 members includingfamily members, community members, first responders, educators, and otherlocal, regional, and national stakeholders. The National Park Service isthe federal agency charged with administering Flight 93 National Memorial.These four organizations agreed that an open design competition would bethe most inclusive, transparent and democratic way to explore a range ofdesigns for the memorial. The competition was open to design professionals,as well as to the public, and was conducted in two stages with two separatejuries. The stage I jury analyzed approximately 1,000 submissions andforwarded five finalist designs to the stage II jury. The five finalistdesigns were exhibited for public comment in Somerset, Pennsylvania and onthe project website. The stage II jury, which was composed of noted designprofessionals, family members and community leaders, reviewed the publiccomments and evaluated the designs against the memorial’s missionstatement. By a majority, the stage II jury voted in favor of Mr. Murdoch’sdesign and then, to reinforce their support of the design, took a second,unanimous vote to support the design created by Mr. Murdoch.After the winning design was announced, the NPS received some inquiriesfrom the public about what they perceived as Islamic symbolism in thememorial design. While the architect, Mr. Murdoch, had not intended anysuch symbolism in the design, he nonetheless refined certain aspects of thedesign in response to the perceptions. The most prominent refinement was inthe treatment of the naturally occurring bowl-shaped landscape feature. Thedesign now surrounds that area with a circle of trees which is broken intwo places – the location which marks the flight path as it breaks thecircular continuity of the bowl edge, and the Sacred Ground where the crashoccurred.Please be assured that we are all committed to having a national memorialthat conveys the full honor due to the heroes of Flight 93, not to theterrorists.. Our priority now is to move forward with the building of thememorial, and to continue to commemorate those heroes who lost their liveson September 11, 2001.Enclosed for your information are several documents, which I hope willadditionally help to clear up this issue. You may also find more in-depthinformation on the park’s web site: www.nps.gov/flni.Please feel free to contact me if you would like further information.Thank you for your interest in our project and for your support of theNational Park Service.(See attached file: Attachment 2 Chart of Facts Regarding the MemorialDesign.doc)(See attached file: Brieing Paper.doc)(See attached file:Attachment 1 Advisory Commission Letter to Rawls Letter 8.8.07.doc)(Seeattached file: family letter to tomtancredo.pdf)Joanne M. Hanley, SuperintendentFlight 93 NM, Fort Necessity NB, Friendship Hill NHS,Johnstown Flood NM andAllegheny Portage Railroad NHS109 West Main St. Somerset, PA 15501office 814.443.4557fax 814.443.2180cell 724.322.5395
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