Thursday, May 19, 2005

United Flight 93 Memorial 

An exhibit of the finalist designs for the United Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania took place Thursday night in San Francisco. The event gave family member of those who died on Flight 93 a chance to see and comment on the designs chosen. The winning design is to be selected in September. The five proposals, as described by the Memorial website, are:

* Disturbed Harmony by Leor Lovinger and Gilat Lovinger. This design is focused on a 2.5 mile long Bravery Wall that visitors can walk along and read a timeline of events. The wall deepens as the ground slopes away to reveal a Memorial Wall with the names of the passengers and crew. The wall then wraps around the Sacred Ground as a sunken fence, with a Hemlock grove planted nearby.

* (F)light by Ken Lum. A Luminous Rooftop is the primary feature of this design. The memorial is in the shape of Flight 93's flight path from Newark to Ohio, then the sharp turn to its end point in Pennsylvania. The upper section is supposed to convey a sense of normal everyday live, the section after the turning point includes the memorial courtyard featuring an empty table for each passenger and crewmember, and a tree for each to represent renewed life. The Sacred Ground is bound by five pools and a line of trees.

* Fields, Forests, Fence by Laurel McSherry and Terry Surjan. This memorial takes much of its inspiration from the temporary fence memorial. The main feature would be a memorial fence where visitor could leave forestry tags with names and comments. Another fence would surround the Sacred Ground, where a grove of birch trees would be planted. Other features would include hemlock groves, meadows, and three reclaimed mining ponds to represent each of the September 11 sites.

* The Crescent of Embrace by Paul Murdoch Architects. An arc with a sidewalk and maple trees are the main feature of this entry. A Tower of Voices with wind chimes for each passenger and crewmember, plus a chapel, is located at the entrances to the memorial. Beyond the tower is the crescent, which visitors enter through a walled portal. At the end of the pathway is the Sacred Ground, surrounded by black marble wall with spaces to leave tributes. The fields of the Sacred Ground are painted with mountain laurel, designed to bloom pink and white in the spring.

* The Memory Trail by Fredrick Steiner, Karen Lewis, Jason Kentner, E. Lynn Miller. This proposal takes visitors on a walking tour of the grounds. The path takes visitor past an Information Center and Memorial Archive, and then leads to and around the Sacred Ground. A family-specific path leads directly to the Sacred Ground. The trail crosses a lake, and then passes next to a Remembrance Grove with 3,021 white oaks.

According to local news, the exhibit will be open to the public from May 21-30. For anyone interested who is in the Bay Area, the exhibit is at the Presidio in San Francisco at Building 989.

If I were in charge I would name the entire site the Shanksville National Battlefield, because even though events took place on a smaller scale and were up in the air, it's no less a National Battlefield than Antietam or Fort Necessity. But then again, that's just me.

I'd be interested to see what my friend R has to say. She grew up there and her dad was one of the first people on the ground.
It would be interesting. The exhibits are going to be shown in Shanksville too if she can get there to see them. I would like to go someday, so maybe a group of us can go and we can all see where R grew up.
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