Model of Flight 93 memorial

The choice of a red crescent to honor the victims of Flight 93 who fought back against Muslim hijackers on 9-11 is being blasted as “unsuitable” by a U.S. congressman who is urging its rejection.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., has sent a letter to the Interior Department, asking officials to reconsider the “Crescent of Embrace” design due to the symbol’s ties to Islam.

“It has raised questions in some circles about whether the design, if constructed, will in fact make the memorial a tribute to the hijackers rather than the victims whose mission the flight’s passengers helped to thwart,” wrote Tancredo in a letter to Fran Mainella, director of the National Park Service. “Regardless of whether or not the invocation of a Muslim symbol by the memorial designer was intentional or not, it seems that such a symbol is unsuitable for paying appropriate tribute to the heroes of Flight 93 or the ensuing American struggle against radical Islam that their last historic act and the ‘Let’s Roll’ effort has come to symbolize.”

The heart of the memorial is a mile-long semicircle of red maples surrounding the place near Shanksville, Pa., where the flight’s 40 passengers and crew were killed when the hijacked plane plunged into the ground Sept. 11, 2001.

“It seems to me that the [Interior] Department ought to direct the committee to choose a different design rather than moving forward with a design that could make the memorial a flashpoint for controversy and criticism,” Tancredo continued.

Muslim Crescent

The design for the permanent memorial for Flight 93 was announced last week “amid overwhelming support from the Families of Flight 93 and the various partner organizations who are contributing to make the memorial a reality,” according to the project’s website.

It was designed by Paul Murdoch Architects of Los Angeles, with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects of Charlottesville, Va.

As WorldNetDaily previously reported, a Pennsylvania pastor is also fighting the newly approved design of the memorial, based on the purported connection to Islam.

Rev. Ron McRae, head of the Bible Anabaptist Church near Jerome, Pa., about 55 miles from Pittsburgh, said a private group he formed might go to court to block the “Crescent of Embrace” symbol.

“This is a memorial to the terrorists who killed those people, not a memorial to the folks who died there innocently,” McRae told the Tribune-Democrat newspaper in Johnstown, Pa.

The designer maintains he used the term crescent only in the architectural sense of a curved line.

“This is not about any religion per se,” Murdoch told the paper. “It’s a spiritual space, and a sacred place, but it’s open to anyone.”

Joanne Hanley, superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial, told the Associated Press “Crescent of Embrace” is the name of the design, not the memorial, and can be changed.

“The name is irrelevant, really,” she said. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there and conjecture and hidden meaning that just isn’t there.”

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