Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Don't make Ground Zero into a shrine to self-loathing. 
Debra Burlingame, sister to one of the pilots killed on Sept. 11th, 2001, has a powerful editorial in today's Wall Street Journal, lamenting the imminent desecration of the WTC site, in lieu of a memorial to the honored dead, with a shrine to the virtues of American self loathing. Just look who's putting it together!

• Michael Posner, executive director at Human Rights First who is leading the worldwide "Stop Torture Now" campaign focused entirely on the U.S. military. He has stated that Mr. Rumsfeld's refusal to resign in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal is "irresponsible and dishonorable."

• Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, who is pushing IFC organizers for exhibits that showcase how civil liberties in this country have been curtailed since September 11.

• Eric Foner, radical-left history professor at Columbia University who, even as the bodies were being pulled out of a smoldering Ground Zero, wrote, "I'm not sure which is more frightening: the horror that engulfed New York City or the apocalyptic rhetoric emanating daily from the White House." This is the same man who participated in a "teach-in" at Columbia to protest the Iraq war, during which a colleague exhorted students with, "The only true heroes are those who find ways to defeat the U.S. military," and called for "a million Mogadishus."

This isn't something Tom Hanks would do at all. Here is my letter to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is in charge of the monument:

I am frankly startled at reports that you are planning to turn that hallowed ground into a "why they hate us" memorial.

I'm also startled that you have associated yourselves with a professor who publicly wished for "a million Mogadishus."

I am an infantry soldier and veteran of the Global War on Terrorism.

If you had seen what I have seen, and seen good men and women bleeding out into the bed of ha Humvee, or stifling screams in an aid station, or worse, you would know what that really means, what a shameful and ignorant statement that was, and you would realize that such a sentiment should have nothing to do with this memorial. Nor should one who could even contemplate a million Mogadishus as a good thing.

Better a quiet memorial to the dignity of those who suffered and died that day than a self-flaggelating exercise in political correctness.

Please, don't make Lower Manhattan a laughingstock for the rest of the country. Don't make a memorial that should still be standing 100 years hence into a quaint and pathetic rehashing of the gripes of the 2004 presidential campaign.

This monument needs to be better than that. This monument needs to be above that.

And don't create a monument that will be offensive to those of us who fought to defeat those responsible for those horrible acts that day.

You can make your own comments here.

Splash, out


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