Trashing New York’s September 11 Memorial

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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It wasn’t a big deal – but it was a small sign that time moves on.

The other day I went online to buy airline tickets.  I looked at several websites, typed in the dates on which I wanted to fly, found the cheapest available fare, booked it, scribbled down the flight information, printed out the travel documents, made notes on my calendar, and then resumed my work.  Not until a few hours later did I glance at the printout and realize that my departure date was September 11 – the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

Yes, I’d known throughout my ticket-booking procedure that the date was September 11, but somehow it hadn’t registered in my mind as September 11. All along, I’d thought of it as if it were, well, just another date.

I was stunned by this, and a little – or maybe more than a little – saddened.  I was immediately put in mind of Wordsworth’s sonnet “Surprised by Joy,” in which the poet, after a long period of mourning for his young daughter, is appalled to catch himself experiencing pleasure and even forgetting, for a moment, that his beloved little girl is dead.  “Through what power, / Even for the least division of an hour,” he wonders, “Have I been so beguiled as to be blind / To my most grievous loss?”

It was not ever thus.  A year or two after 9/11, I happened to fly on September 11, and was intensely aware of the date from the moment I booked it – not worried about a repeat, but very mindful of the monstrous, previously unimaginable chain of events on that world-changing day that had begun with ordinary people boarding airplanes.  But now – well – time has done its work.  Does my unexpected forgetfulness have anything to do with the fact that the the number of years between that terrible day and now has ticked into the double digits?

The passage of time would appear to have had other consequences.  In June, a New York Daily News headline blared: “School kids trash 9/11 memorial.”  A group of middle-schoolers from Brooklyn, it appeared, had been thrown out of the memorial at the site of the Twin Towers in downtown Manhattan after being caught tossing empty soda bottles and other rubbish into the fountains.  It wasn’t an isolated incident.  The other day, the New York Post reported that many “first responders and victims’ families” are “appalled” by the conduct of some visitors to the memorial – not just kids, but grown-ups – who reportedly act as if they’re at a “Disney attraction.”  These visitors, most of them apparently tourists from out of town, laugh, take pictures, consume food and beverages, let their toddlers sit on the plaques bearing the names of the dead, and generally behave as if they’re at a Fourth of July picnic.

One reason for this behavior is, presumably, time’s passage – for most, the wound is no longer as sore as it was.  Another reasons is that the signals are not entirely clear as to what exactly this place downtown is: is it intended to be a park of sorts, where most of this kind of activity (though certainly not the littering) is acceptable, or is it more like the U.S.S. Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor, where, as the Post points out, “visitors are shown a video explaining the significance of the site before entering” and a sign reads: “Please conduct yourself with dignity and respect at all times. Remember this is hallowed ground.”  According to the Post, visitors to the Arizona site actually do obey the video and signs, exhibiting suitable respect for the dead.

This last is actually pretty impressive, given that millions of members of the present generation of young American adults weren’t brought up with any manners whatsoever, let alone anything remotely resembling a concept of solemnity or gravitas, and certainly haven’t raised their own kids to know how to behave appropriately in various situations.  (One of the guilty Brooklyn kids told the Daily News, apropos of his and his pals’ use of the memorial fountains as a garbage dump: “No one was disrespecting….No one was being serious. Everyone was kind of bored and it was just something to do.”)  Still, the anecdotal evidence from the Arizona would seem to suggest that if you give people a clear and forceful indication of what kind of conduct is expected of them, most of those who aren’t totally lacking in couth will be, more or less, cooperative.  One problem with the 9/11 memorial is that it’s not an old-fashioned monument like, say, the Lincoln Memorial, where the temple-like architecture, the imposing sculpture of the Great Emancipator, and the noble words carved into the marble all clue visitors into the fact that this is, indeed, no amusement park.  Postmodern monument design tends to be more ambiguous: the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, completed in 2005, consists of hundreds of concrete blocks of varying heights which suggest, on the one hand, gravestones, and, on the other, benches.  Every time I’ve walked past it, I’ve seen adults sitting on the stones and children running among them.  Once or twice, around sunset, I’ve seen young couples making out.  The atmosphere is always one of play, never solemnity.  Such may also be the fate of the 9/11 memorial.

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  • http://rau.3littlefoxes.com Lfox328

    I blame the teachers, who did apparently NOT convey the meaning of "Ground Zero", and the proper attitude towards the memorial.

    I hope, although I doubt, that the teachers were disciplined for allowing this to happen.

    I am a teacher, and I'm truly becoming ashamed of my fellow "professionals", who have kowtowed to the PC scolds, accepted Leftist propaganda as factual, and failed to accept their responsibility to educate their students.

    • guest

      under Islam, this and the Holocaust never happened. It is not taught as it offends these intolerants.

    • aspacia

      Ditto from a high school teacher. I just had students read "Self-Esteem to the Extreme," for analysis.

    • Kufar Dawg

      CNN had some BS propaganda program about 9-11 featuring muslimes lying about their global jihad. I couldn't watch much more past that.

  • mudrake2

    Part of the problem is the memorial is sanitized of the cause behind it, the enemy who perpetrated the event. Barry and other Muslim appologists have succeeded in making the victims of 9/11 no more relevant to main stream America than if they had all been killed in a traffic accident. The locus of the event being in New York does not help. The men and women killed at Pearl Harbor were a cross section of America. Those of 9/11 were from NYC. While those living there might think a lot of the city and themselves, the rest of the country doesn't and its easy to put it out of mind. Those things taken together have reduced 9/11 into an event of relative insignifigance. I see the pandering to and appologizing for Islam as the greater of the two. I still find it baffling and disgusting that government felt compelled to give lotto like payouts to the families of the dead. The Victory Mosque built adjacent to the memorial is another insult that push people like myself to forget 9/11 entirely.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      mudrake2 AKBAR! (is GREAT)

  • Joel Cuerrier

    While I do not find this a very interesting story. I mean, bad behavior is, indeed… everywhere. We have completely lost all notions of minimum decency, nevermind etiquette.

    You can point to the big things, but this is beyond the point. Adults dress up like children on the beach. Bermudas and t-shirts, with sandals in downtown New York City. Unshaven, uncombed, unwashed. That is, perfectly normal people, not deranged in any way, go out of their house that way and walk among the public. And no one cares.

    It is part of a broader culture, where civility itself has become a snob concept.

    1968 was a while ago, things have only grown worst since. People were complaining then about some men deciding to grow their hair, wearing blue jeans and some dirty shirts. Now, you have some grown men, in postmodern chic fashion, wearing tight t-shirt, gumming their hairs to spike them, a 300$ designer pair of jeans and the permanent 5 O’Clock shadow. And there’s your model of elegance and sex appeal.

    One of the things I enjoy most about watching these old black and white movies is simply that. People dressed up properly and behaved properly as well. A lot of them smoked, but you’d rarely see any of them tossing it it the street, unless it was a criminal. People you’d see unshaven, it was a sign of something that was wrong with them, that they had a sleepless night, there was palpable angst inhabiting them (Bogart). They’d all wear hats too, men were accessorizing their wears.

    So really, the point is, this is not at all a specific problem to this place, it is a problem everywhere. And while you’re on the topic of Jihadists. I have to say this, I do not always disagree with them, while thinking the west is oh so wonderful. They do have a point about the indecency of the west. Now their model is worst, but regardless. When I saw the movie “Eat Pray Love”, just because I wanted to hate it more than my preconceptions allowed me to. I was like, wow, this is the perfect recruitment video for Al-Qaeda. I mean, see folks, this is the West today, this is who we are fighting, are you with me? I mean, if the sole argument of the west is the vapidity of “Eat Pray Love”, I’m with the terrorists.

    Because it is not just the “obscene clothings” of the ladies in the street. I mean, dressing sexy was not taboo a century ago either in the US or France, in the big cities. The point is, it is a larger culture, and it is one where, while we may not have much individualism in character, we have a lot of egotism in behavior.

    So, indeed, so what if I throw my garbage on the public square? Someone else will pick it up.

    • Snow White

      The deterioation of our society began in the 1960s with the integration of our public schools. The reason behind integration was to assimilate black students into American society, but instead of the black children adapting to mainstream American culture, white children adopted the black culture. Add this to the dumbing down of our educational system to the lowest commmon denominator in which all students now graduate with an education on a par with what black students received at their former all black pre integration schools and you get what we have today. We are on our way to becomeing another third world country, if we aen't already there. Nobody had any respect for any thing or anyone except their own personal selves and what they want at the moment.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        I disagree. Integration of public schools is not the problem.

        LOWERING STANDARDS IS.

        Time to SHAME the parents, the communities these kids grow up in. Shame unwed mothers. Shame "men" who don't support their children.

        • aspacia

          Yes, students are not ashamed of failure and blame the teacher, ditto for the parents.

          There is no personal responsibility.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        The children of unwed mothers are BASTARDS.

        When a mother has multiple children from multiple men, she is a brood sow.

      • aspacia

        Snow White,

        There were huge problems with integration, and many riots, albeit, I have had many outstanding black students and some very trashy, lazy white students. This is not a race issue, it is an issue of moral integrity, of pride in well-earned reward.

      • Ghostwriter

        To the idiot Snow White,

        The integration of public schools with black and white schools isn't the problem. It was just that no standards have been put in place. Both races have been subjected to dumbed down curriculums instead of rigorous curriculums. Why don't you go to a KIan website where your opinions would be better accepted? You deserve the criticism you got so why don't you deal with it?

        Signed,
        Ghostwriter

  • Ar'nun

    I wonder how many of these impressionable children have been taught that 9/11 was a plan by our Government? Truthers tend to be leftists, and so don't teachers.

    • amused

      bullshiit .

  • jacob

    I blame Mayor BLOOMBERG and his er….staff for allowing this rotten state of affairs…..
    Would it have too much of a burden for the ROTTEN APLE budget to place signs at the place for
    people to show some respevct for the 3,000 plus victims of islam terrorism who perished there ??
    Pays to remember that it was OK for them the construction of the GROUND ZERO MOSQUE and
    wouldn’t it be for public outcry, it would have been built already….
    It would be interesting to see what school books have to say about it, most assuredly from the points
    of view of those like our innefable President, the apologizer to the Muslim world for all American
    “misdeeds” to them, same one maintaining America owns it independence to Muslim help while
    ignoring how many states there are in the Union and I repeat, check those books and, if at all
    possible, make with them what was known in Spain as an AUTO DE FE in Inquisition times, just
    because most of their contents is just pure, unadulterated leftist GARBAGE…..
    …..

  • jacob

    JOEL :
    ONE THOUSAND PERCENT RIGHT…! ! !
    But it is what LIBERTINISM, LICENTIOUSNESS but not LIBERTY as per the dictionary's definition, what
    we are experincing nowadays….
    SEX is the pervading tendency and Hollywood wastesnot the slightest opportunity of rubbing it into our
    faces, the only thing missing in any picture in which there is absolutely no call for it, the actual physical
    details of sexual intercourse….
    I feel we are in the way of becoming a copy of what the Bible describes as what was happening in SODOM
    and GOMORRAH, with the only difference that it won't be an earthquake with fire and brimstone which will
    bury the West but ISLAM….
    Just learn the fall of the ROMAN EMPIRE and tell me what is happening presently in this country, let alone
    Europe, isnt the same rot that brought it down…..

  • weroinnm

    Spitting in the Face of Everyone Murdered on 9/11! http://weroinnm.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/spitting
    “Food For Thought”
    Semper Fi!

  • BS77

    I am reminded by the line in the film A Bronx Tale……"It's true, nobody really cares" a sad reminder of the selfishness, shallowness and insensitivity of people…..their short memories, their indifference. Unless something dramatic happens to them personally, the average slob will be immune to tragedy or the suffering of others, the deaths of thousands…they do not care, except about themselves, their own interests.

  • LindaRivera

    Several months ago I went to the September 11 Memorial. I wept.

    Triumphant Muslims in America and around the world celebrated the murder of innocents. Devout Muslims sought to declare their victory to the whole world with a 9/11 victory mosque. We will NEVER forget!

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      SOCIALISTs also celebrated 9/11.

      SOCIALISTS hate the US and hoped that the US would be beaten, AND that the US would NOT RETALIATE.

      Hence the prepoderence of SOCIALISTS in "anti-war" groups.

      • Omar

        I bet that today's radical socialists and Islamists would have sided with King George III and the British during the American Revolution

    • BS77

      I was in New York City three weeks after 9/11…and I was there for the tenth anniversary held last year….it was a very intense experience….being at Ground Zero, seeing the new tower going up…..FDNY……your sacrifices will not be forgotten. The West better freaking wake up and wake up now.

    • tagalog

      The people in the town of Nablus were dancing in the streets. They weren't the only ones.

      Remember the sadness of all those lives snuffed out, and while you're remembering them, remember Nablus!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrM0dAFsZ8k

  • Schlomotion

    It is high time Larry Silverstein abandoned the 9/11 Memorial, aka Albert Speer's Cathedral of Light. The Likudnik right should stop its Nuremberg Rally in the United States against Islam and stop licking a healed wound so hard that it remains forever open. You missed your double payout on the collapse, but you still have your commemorative bomb-proof trash cans. Let's put this whole one day long part of our history into them.

    • Drakken

      You really are a bloody piece of work scumbag, I still don't see you joining up with your leftist muslim friends protesting happy nakba day. Your nothing more to the rest of Americans as something resembling what we scape off the bottom of our shoes.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        I'd like to see Shariamotion in front of a Caterpillar bulldozer, standing in molasses.

    • Chiggles

      You liked what happened, didn't you, Schmo. You'd like for it to happen again.

      • Kufar Dawg

        Schol would, but only on a larger basis. Oh and with plenty of Jewish casualties.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Shariamotion,

      I see a NAKBA in your future.

      A President Romney to bring MORE NAKBA into your life.

      Obama goes to pasture with Dhimmie (Worst President EVER) Carter

    • BS77

      Schlomotion….another term for "hell on earth"

      • BS77

        Hey Schlomo…..I live at the Grand Canyon….drop over sometime.

    • aspacia

      Why should we abandon the 9/11 Memorial, or any other memorial to our brethren.

      Why stop, when to day 3/4ths of the attempted terrorist plots have been conducted by Muslims?

      • Kufar Dawg

        I think the percentage is a bit more than 75%, I'd say it's at least above 95%.

    • davarino

      Keep talkin Schlomie. You remind me of the character in Silence of the Lambs, Dr. Lector.

      • Schlomotion

        You would say that. By the residue on your cheap boots, I would say you are a construction worker in Arizona who grinds his own coffee. Your presumed erudition betrays a penchant for wearing athletic gear.

  • Ghostwriter

    You're a real piece of work,Schlomind. You blame others when the blame should be on the Muslim terrorists who committed the outrage. You're a anti-semitic piece of filth,Schlockmotion. I wonder how someone like you can sleep at night.

    • Kufar Dawg

      I hope everyone notices that Schlo doesn't have anything to write about the fact 9-11 was an instance of islamofascist terrorism.

  • Leo

    Leftist thinking is so prevalent in the school system, that is just scary (principals, teachers, administrators, security, etc etc) tha is just very very dificult to deal with on a daily basis. I know about this case because I used to serve (special education admnistrator) this particular school and the administration and everyone involved in this situation. After a whole investigation, the DOE and those "affiliated" and "dealing" with this particular school said that it was all "RASCISM" (most of these students are black) That is their tact they took that
    "their students never did anything wrong and all of it was based due to "RASCISM" (sounds familir?typicla democratic party) all I know is that the situation was quickly dismisssed and no further investigation or findings were sought!. Now that I have worked for the sytem and the communities for over 30 years =, I have to say that the whole thing is ethically, morally and culturally bankrupt.

    • aspacia

      I agree Leo.

  • Jossi

    EVERYONE SHOULD READ WHAT C. SKOUSEN WROTE IN 1958 AND CONFRONT WHAT WE'VE TODAY!
    From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen – Written in 1958
    The list of communist goals contained in the book was read into the Congressional Record by U.S. Congressman Albert S. Herlong, Jr. of Florida, on January 10, 1963

    CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS
    1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
    2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
    3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
    4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
    5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
    6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
    7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
    8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
    9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
    10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
    11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
    12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
    13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
    14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
    15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
    16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
    17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.
    18. Gain control of all student newspapers.
    19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
    20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

  • Jossi

    Continuation of Skousen's points:

    21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
    22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."
    23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."
    24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.
    25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.
    26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."
    27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."
    28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."
    29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
    30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."
    31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.
    32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
    33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.
    34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
    35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
    36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
    37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
    38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].
    39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
    40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.
    41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.
    42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.
    43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.
    44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.
    45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

  • Toecutter

    George Santanaya said ‘Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

    This is the hallmark of all this Bolshevist rubbish that is foisted on our kids these days, from all angles. Stalin ain’t dead, he just went online. Commies may get killed, but their lies always live on. After all, a sucker is born every minute. There’s always some ignoramus somewhere ready to swallow the lastest semen-load of lies.

    One has to seriously question the human condition. If you tell a lie often enough, it eventually becomes truth.

    What is truly scary about the human race is the human race itself. Spooky…

    • jemaasjr

      What I find remarkable is the number of people who want you to take their opinions seriously, and yet they do noting to make their opinions worth taking seriously.

    • tagalog

      The problem is that it's a plausible claim that government, with all of its spending on various policies, ought to have policies of doing some spending on basic protections of its citizens. Even conservatives can be persuaded by that kind of argument.

      The flip side of that is that once the government starts spending on social programs, the process doesn't stop. That's not really as big of a problem as it seems, since once the government finds itself in a money crunch, those programs necessarily have to cut back or come to an end. Who was the guy who said, "what can't go on has to stop?"

      What IS a huge problem is that once we have a government that has become a caretaker of those who have fallen behind in our society, those people become addicted to those programs, and those close to them, who, in a different society would be the people custom would look to for the provision of assistance to them, protest most strenuously to having to contribute to that kind of sustenance. Turning the members of society into a bunch of hogs feeding at the public trough is, and will be, a problem that is going to be very hard to solve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.whitehead.5243 Andrew Whitehead

    How can students possibly understand the memorial? In New York public schools, Islam is a great faith that crated everything from algebra to medicine and also discovered America and landed on the moon.

    The facts need to be told; a faith group (No, liberals, not all of them) attacked our country. The only reason is that they want us dead. Radical Islam is the demon; death is the cure.

    If the students cannot understand this very simple truth it is because they aren't being taught.

  • jemaasjr

    I read a piece written by Machiavelli once. He said that if you have a political enemy and you kill him, you can eventually settle with the family because once a person is dead and gone, in a couple of years they are all but forgotten. But if you take your enemy's house they will remember for ever because the house will always be there reminding them. That is why 9/11 will become unimportant and why Israel will never be able to settle with the Palestinians. Regardless of who you suppose is the proper owner of Palestine, the property is always going to be there and so they are always going to want it.

  • tagalog

    After the 9/11 attack, there was a concerted attack on the repeated showing of the pictures of the destruction and the horror of it. That has lasted into the present day, at least until the libbies realized that they could make hay for their political agenda by using those pictures. That is probably part of the reason why "9/11" doesn't resound with most of us the way "December 7" does. The graphics haven't been repeated to us over and over.

    When we hear "December 7" we see in our mind's eye that huge explosion as the munitions bunker of the Arizona blew the ship sky-high, or some other equally riveting event, and some sort of mental steel door come crashing down, enclosing America in one and only one course of action. When we hear "9/11" I don't know what people see in their mind's eye. I suppose the collapse of one of the towers at the World Trade Center or the dust rolling through the streets and people running, and then "what do we do now?" Thank God President Bush was there to make a credible decision and that Al Gore wasn't the Prez.

    I find it a bit puzzling that the New York Observer would say that the Ground Zero memorial is intended to be a place for people to socialize and enjoy the weather, and I take exception to that claim. If the people who built what is there intended for it to be a park, why didn't they just make a park? Why did it take so many years for the people who built it to decide on a design for it? If it was going to be just another park, that was a LOT of wasted effort.

    I also have a problem with the trend among the trend-setters to advocate for memorials that don't look like memorials for the reasons stated in the commentary above. If it doesn't look like a memorial, people won't treat it like one.

  • EccoLa

    We are all somewhat to blame. WE allow the government-run schools to be managed by government unions. They teach Leftist, PC claptrap to kids who learn Islam is a religion of peace, and we are war-mongering, capitalist oppressors and racists. [Read Zinn's non-scholarly marxist perspective on US history that is widely used as an American history textbook despite the absence of documentation. That is what kids are being taught to believe about America.] WE also allow "monuments" to be build according to post-modern standards that ensure the "monument" communicates nothing and stands for nothing. This ensures that when the historically illiterate citizens visit the site, they will be able to continue in their ignorance as they will not be educated or enlightened. And WE pay for this stuff. As for the victims of 9/11, the first responders, the families, etc…… it is a tragic truth that if they are voting for the contemporary Democrat party they are actively promoting and supporting the very post-modern, politically correct, Leftist ideologues who dominate the American educational system, scream & sue if religion appears in the public square, and embrace the empty post-modern aesthetic we see in meaningless, non-informative "monuments". We reap what we sow. Sadly, many of us reap what others sow, too….