Frank Gaffney
For many of the families of the 3,000 American citizens who were murdered on September 11, 2001, the worst thing that could happen would be for their loved ones’ sacrifice and loss to be forgotten. To ensure that didn’t happen, federal, state and local authorities have put millions of tax dollars towards a memorial on the site of Ground Zero – the place where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood in lower Manhattan.

Incredible as it may seem, those charged with translating that laudable commitment into reality have come up with plans that could surpass even the 9/11 families’ worst fears: A scheme for the design and use of the Ground Zero complex that threatens, at best, to obscure and, at worst, to defame the memory of those lost on that day.

Part of the problem lies with the plan itself. Its centerpiece would not be a September 11th Memorial. Rather, it would be something called the International Freedom Center (IFC). The Memorial would be located in a basement, with only 50,000 square feet assigned to its displays. Such a facility would be unable to display most of the recovered 9/11 artifacts, requiring the rest to be exhibited elsewhere.

Worse yet, a memorial that size is estimated to be able to accommodate only half the roughly 20,000 visitors expected to come to the site each day. Where, you might ask, would the rest go?

It appears that they would have two choices: The first would be the massive, 300,000-square foot, above-ground International Freedom Center that would be built on top of the 9/11 Memorial. A posting on the excellent new website created by 9/11 family members and their supporters, www.TakeBacktheMemorial.org, observes:

“The International Freedom Center is slated to contain a history of mankind's oppressions and the struggles to end them. [For example, the IFC’s web site declares: “It will tell stories…of Jim Crow segregation – but also [of] Martin Luther King, who helped stamp it out. Inspiring people through these stories to do freedom’s work today is our best long-run defense against more 9/11’s.”]


Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
 
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