Monday, March 11, 2002

PUBLIC REMEMBERING: The LA Times runs this story on the Towers Of Light/Tribute Of Light memorial. Excerpt:

"Tribute of Light" is that rare public art project that, when announced, immediately captured the popular imagination. It just seemed—right. Its cause was taken up at once, in press accounts and magazine stories. Dozens, even scores of other proposals for memorial projects have been floated in the aftermath of the towers' collapse. "Tribute of Light" is the one that always seemed inevitable.

The article, written by Christopher Knight, makes the point that the Light project is sort of a first draft as far as a permanent 9/11 memorial goes. He goes into the potential dangers any lasting tribute will face:

As a reporter for the Wall Street Journal wrote not long ago, years from now, when a memorial to the tragedy of Sept. 11 does rise from the rubble, one thing is almost certain: Someone will be unhappy. Memorials, because they touch deeply personal emotional chords, are extraordinarily difficult to design.
The worst-case scenario is a fiasco like the design for the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. Although that world-changing event ended a half-century ago, and a certain degree of unanimity might be said to prevail over its outcome, the memorial currently being built in Washington has proved to be sharply divisive. On one side stand those who applaud its vocabulary of triumphal forms, as well as its insertion between powerful memorials to presidents Lincoln and Washington. Lined up on the other side are those who believe the turgid bombast of the design is ill-suited to the ordinary citizen-soldiers and civilians at home who secured the victory, and they lament an imperial monument arising on ground where generations of disenfranchised Americans petitioned their government in the cause of civil rights.

Knight goes into successful memorials, like the Lincoln or Vietnam ones, and who will decide the final shape of a WTC memorial. Interesting read.

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