The father of one of the heroes of 9/11, Tom Burnett, who led other passengers in an effort to overcome terrorists on Flight 93, is banning the use of his son’s name at a memorial planned for the heroics performed by a planeload of ordinary Americans that tragic day.
Tom Burnett Sr. told a blogger who also has been campaigning against the “Crescent of Embrace” design for the memorial that he won’t allow his son’s name to be used on any memorial with Islamic components.
“He described his own efforts to stop the crescent design, including letters to the press that were never published. With the crescent design still going forward, he has decided that it is necessary to up the ante, and has authorized me to publicize his decision to protest the crescent design by insisting that Tom Jr.’s name not be inscribed on one of the 44 glass blocks emplaced along the flight path, or used anywhere else in the memorial,” wrote Alec Rawls.
WND reported earlier on Rawls’ book, “Crescent of Betrayal: Dishonoring the Heroes of Flight 93,” published by World Ahead. It documents a long list of Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Rawls said the primary feature of the memorial is the giant central crescent of what originally was called the “Crescent of Embrace” design. He reports a person facing into this half-mile wide crescent – still present in the superficially altered “Bowl of Embrace” redesign – will be oriented almost exactly at Mecca.
The crash site at the memorial is approximately where the star is on Islamic star-and-crescent flags
“I think we HAVE to [do something],” said the father. “It’s not that I pull a lot of weight around. I know that. I’m one of 40.”
Rawls reports there were 40 heroes on Flight 93, along with four terrorists. From telephone calls from the airplane before it crashed into a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001, while three other jets were crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., it’s known that the passengers decided to respond to the hijackers with force.
Burnett has written to Congress, and to various newspapers a number of times condemning in the strongest possible terms the design.
“It is unmistakably an Islamic symbol,” charged Burnett: “The red Crescent of Embrace… bastardizes what my son and others did on Flight 93.”
Rawls noted that newspapers have declined to publish the letters from the man who served for part of the selection process for the design, which he describes as being “railroaded.”
“By consensus the Stage Two jury forwards this section of the Flight 93 memorial to the partner [architect Paul Murdoch] with the full and unqualified support of each juror,” said the report that was issued.
On the contrary, says Burnett, the vote was NOT unanimous: “It was 9 to 6,” and Burnett for one remained adamantly opposed to the crescent design.
Rawls described the memorial as “a terrorist memorial mosque, built around the half mile wide Mecca oriented crescent.”
Burnett told Rawls what would be appropriate is a congressional investigation.
But for now keeping his son’s name out is both a moral imperative and a way to force attention to the issue.
“We don’t want it used at all if that design stays in,” Burnett told Rawls. “We’ve got to audit this process, and we’ve got to get to the TRUTH! That’s really what we’re after.”
He said in addition to the giant crescent being an Islamic symbol, the proposed “Tower of Voices” is nearly like an Islamic minaret.
Burnett said his earlier letters described the crescent design as just not acceptable.
“Millions of Americans and I find the ‘red crescent of embrace’ an insult to my son, and the others on Flight 93, who engaged in a violent and valiant struggle to take that plane back from the Islamic hijackers,” he said..
“Without warning, my son and the other passengers and crew of Flight 93 were suddenly placed in the vanguard of the war on terrorism. Facing unfathomable choices, Tom was calm, clearheaded, decisive and fearless. I can only hope that in the years to come the rest of us live up to the standard of heroism that he and others set on 9/11.”
“What I am pre-eminently concerned about is what our countrymen will feel and learn when they visit the site. The story, when properly presented, will properly honor and properly reverberate in history what those heroes accomplished for their fellow Americans, and for the entire Western world. I would want them to feel the desperateness of those aboard Flight 93 as they became aware of what was happening, and the cold realization of what they had to do. I want them to ask themselves,’what would I have done, had I been aboard that flight?’ We know that in very little time the passengers got out of their seats and attempted to take back that airplane. They tried. We believe, with more time, they could have,” he continued.
“No, I cannot approve the suggested memorial, ‘red crescent of embrace.’ That was accepted without unanimity, by Jury Two, August 2005. It should be thrown out. It is unmistakably an Islamic symbol that has been used by Muslims for centuries. A jarring symbol that, inadvertently or not, commemorates – on such hallowed ground – the hijackers’ faith, and on the site where 40 Americans, 40 heroes, died,” he said.
“I would like to see a full investigation. Love to have it come from Congress. And find out why? Why Murdoch. What’s his reason here? He can’t be that dumb,” he said.
Rawls said in his book the crescent – and its orientation – are significant because it is such a “mihrab” around which every mosque is built.
Defenders of the “Crescent of Embrace” design, Rawls contended, “choose their side first, then avoid or suppress all contrary reason and evidence.”
In an April 2006 conference call, Memorial Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley told Rawls she was not concerned about the Mecca orientation because it’s not “exact.”
Rawls said there also are 44 inscribed glass blocks placed along the path that Flight 93 followed to the ground, matching the number of passengers, crew – and terrorists.
As WND reported in September 2005, Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., 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.”
“This is a memorial to the terrorists who killed those people, not a memorial to the folks who died there innocently,” said Rev. Ron McRae, head of the Bible Anabaptist Church near Jerome, Pa., about 55 miles from Pittsburgh.