AP seems to have tried to expunge the first version of Ramesh Santanam's article on the 5-2-08 press conference by Families of Flight 93.

Below  is a copy of the Google cache of Ramesh's original article (retrieved the evening of 5-3-08). Clicking on the same url (http://www.timesleader.com/news/ap?articleID=514169) at the same hour yields a completely different article by Ramesh Santanam (copy available here).


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Saturday, May 3, 2008  8:12 P.M.

Flight 93 families want memorial controversy to end



Several family members of the 40 passengers and crew who died on hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 say they're fed up with controversies surrounding the design of a national memorial.

The Families of Flight 93 said development of a memorial near Shanksville, where the hijacked airliner crashed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is moving forward.

Family members said they spoke out Friday in Pittsburgh because opponents of the memorial's design intend to hand over an online petition of about 4,700 signatures, several of which are anonymous,to the Flight 93 Task Force on Saturday.

"We're standing up and saying enough," said Patrick White, whose cousin Louis Nacke II died on Flight 93. "On the blogs, anyone is allowed to say anything based on factual misstatements ... to prey on people's patriotism ... to suggest something that isn't real."

Harry Beam, a Johnstown man involved in starting the petition, said he has another 600 signatures on a paper petition calling for a congressional inquiry into the design.

The opponents insist the memorial's centerpiece _ a circular, bowl-shaped piece of land _ represents Islam's crescent, thereby subtly also honoring the four Muslim hijackers.

"There is no particular ownership to this shape," said Sandy Felt, whose husband, Edward Felt, was on Flight 93. "We have to keep some sort of perspective on this."

The initial crescent shape was changed to the current circle.

"The nation puts its arms around (the victims) forever," said John Reynolds, chairman of the Flight 93 Memorial Federal Advisory Commission. "That's what we believe this design does."

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."

Felt said the names of the passengers and crew will be placed on the memorial, but no final decision has been made on how they would be displayed or on what material.

He said he is insulted people would believe he would participate in anything that honored his brother's killers.

Tom Burnett Sr., the father of one of the men killed on Flight 93, also objects to the design and has said he wants his son's name, Thomas E. Burnett Jr., withheld from the memorial.

Beam said some who signed his petition want a new design, while others want modifications "that would totally eliminate Islamic symbolism and tribute to the terrorists."

Some minor changes, based on the site's topography, might be made, but Felt and others said there won't be major design changes.

"If people want to find something to find fault with, they will find something," said Ben Wainio, whose daughter, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, was on the plane. "What is their agenda?"

Families of Flight 93 on Friday finalized the purchase of 930 acres from PBS Coals Inc. for the memorial. Construction of the $58 million permanent memorial and national park is scheduled to begin next year, with the opening slated for the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The park will cover 2,200 acres.

Flight 93 was en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco on Sept. 11, 2001, when it was diverted by hijackers. The official 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers tried to wrest control of the cockpit.



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