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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tom Burnett Sr. denounces Flight 93 Memorial, calls for Congressional investigation

Tom Burnett Sr. called me yesterday and told me that he approved of my efforts to expose the many Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace design. “I am so happy you are doing this,” he said.

He described his own efforts to stop the crescent design, including letters to the press that were never published. [Update: In a subsequent discussion with Mrs. Burnett, she thought that at least one of the letters was published by the Somerset Daily American. Will update later with what I can verify about who did and did not publish the letters.] 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.

“I think we HAVE to,” says Mr. Burnett. “It’s not that I pull a lot of weight around. I know that. I’m one of forty.”

There were forty heroes on Flight 93, along with four terrorists.

Mr. Burnett was adamantly against architect Paul Murdoch’s design long before he knew about the suspicious glass block count, or the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent, or any of the other Islamic and terrorist memorializing specifics that I have discovered.

He read two letters (transcribed below) that he sent to the press back in September 2005, when the unveiling of the crescent design first ignited a national controversy. For those who are not familiar, the publicity photo, provided by Los Angeles architect Paul Murdoch, showed a bare naked crescent and star flag planted on the crash site:

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The crash site, marked by the Sacred Ground Plaza, sits roughly in the position of the star on a crescent and star flag.

Both of Tom Burnett's September 2005 letters condemn the chosen design in the strongest possible terms. “It is unmistakably an Islamic symbol,” charged Mr. Burnett: “The red Crescent of Embrace… bastardizes what my son and others did on Flight 93.”

Incredibly, the newspapers declined to publish these explosive letters from the father of one of the heroes of Flight 93, a man who is also one of only fifteen Stage Two jurors, making him one of the few people who witnessed the design competition from the inside. “This all went on deaf ears, apparently,” Mr. Burnett told me on the phone. [Before posting, I Google searched several phrases from both letters and turned up nothing, but letters to the editor might not be posted online. Full verification of whether the letters were published is in process. In any case, published or not, they "fell on deaf ears," according to Mr. Burnett.]

Neither was this the first time that his objections were ignored. About the jury process itself, Mr. Burnett says: “I thought it was railroaded.” When he pointed out the Islamic symbolism of the crescent, the design professionals on the jury were scornful: “In effect, they said: ‘Don’t be stupid. That’s an aesthetic symbol. That’s all, and it’s used all over the place.’ They were telling us how to interpret it!” (Full transcript below.)

He also thought the voting process was suspicious, saying that there was never a straight up or down vote on the crescent design. Organizers asked the jurors for an ordering of preferences amongst three competing designs, then announced the winner. Even the vote count was suspicious: “It was not an open process.”

Afterwards, the Project announced that: “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.” On the contrary, says Mr. Burnett, the vote was NOT unanimous: “It was 9 to 6,” and Mr. Burnett for one remained adamantly opposed to the crescent design.

About my discovery that the planned memorial is actually a terrorist memorial mosque, built around the half mile wide Mecca oriented crescent, Mr. Burnett said that he believes in the validity of my findings and wants a Congressional investigation. Keeping Tom Jr’s name out of the Memorial is partly a moral imperative, and is partly to force attention. “We don’t want it used at all if that design stays in,” says Mr. Burnett. “We’ve got to audit this process, and we’ve got to get to the TRUTH! That’s really what we’re after.”

Tom himself found two different Islamic elements in the crescent design. In addition to identifying the giant crescent as an Islamic symbol, he also noted that the Tower of Voices is akin to an Islamic minaret (long before seeing my proof that it is actually a year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial).

This prescient commentary is what our newspapers [or at least most of the newspapers contacted] decided that the American people should not see. “You’d think we lived in the Middle East!” Tom laughed on the phone. We laughed at a number of such dark epiphanies. Such is the joy of discovering a compatriot when there is a battle to be fought.

Any press people who want to contact Mr. Burnett to verify his remarks can reach him through me. Contact alec@rawls.org.


Full transcript of Tom’s letters and our phone call


Tom allowed me to record our conversation so that I could accurately transcribe his letters. The rest of our conversation included many important revelations, so I am posting a complete transcription, sans only some irrelevant personal discussion. Where Tom is reading the text of his letters, I use blockquotes, so anyone who just wants to see the letters can scroll for that.


The unrecorded phone call

Before I got the recorder out, Tom and I had already talked for about 20 minutes. Our first call began with Tom introducing himself and asking if I was familiar with the name. I said I was, from Flight 93, and he told me he was Tom Burnett Jr.’s father. I thanked him for calling and he started out by telling me that he fully approved of my efforts to uncover and expose what is in the crescent design. He said he was adamantly against the design during the jury process, before he knew anything of what I have found in the design. He tried to go public at the time, but his letters to the press were not published. With me fighting so hard now to stop the design, he has decided to try to make his voice heard again.

He wants the public to know that he has always believed that the design contains Islamic symbolism, and that he regards it as a desecration of the grave site of his son and the other heroes of Flight 93. He says he has seen my information, he recognizes the soundness of my analyses, and very much wants it to be exposed and properly investigated. He said that to stop the crescent design from going forward, he and other members of his family have decided to insist publicly that the Burnett name not be inscribed on one of the glass blocks emplaced along the flight path, or used anywhere else in the crescent design.

We talked about quite a few aspects of what has been going on, most of which we went over again in our taped conversation. The most important thing that he talked about more in the first conversation was how much he approved of what I was doing and believed in the validity of what I have found. These remarks were also repeated in the taped conversation, but not in as much depth. Tom’s expression of support means a lot. Mr. Burnett and I both hope that his standing with me will help to convince others that they need to take my claims seriously.

About the transcription: when Tom is reading the letters, we have some conversation of our own mixed in. I think this kept Tom from reading the letters quite verbatim, because there a few disjoints and ungrammatical parts. He says he will send me the letters themselves, so I will be able to correct any errors in due time.


Transcript of recorded phone call (we talked for about an hour, or ten typed pages)

Tom Burnett Sr.: Tom Burnett speaking.

Alec Rawls: Hi Tom. It’s Alec.

TB: Yeah, okay.

AR: So I finally found my recorder! [Both laugh, since it took me about 15 minutes.]

TB: First of all, let me ask you. Are you on the staff at Stanford?

AR: No. I started out in the economics Ph.D. program at Stanford. Then I started doing work in moral theory and constitutional law, and so I dropped the program and started writing. I was actually writing a book on republicanism [the system of liberty under law] when I discovered this. I was able to contact the same publisher who was going to publish my other book [World Ahead] and get them interested in this book.

TB: I have been intending to reach you. You sent us that information in 2005-2006, and we do appreciate that, but I haven’t had the inertia [sic] to get moving on it seriously… I really don’t like the use of media, but if I have to I will.

AR: Yeah… I understand.

TB: I just don’t like it. I talked to some of the people on that committee and by and large they dismissed me, nicely you know. I don’t know anyone actually who spoke eloquently about that design during that time. I talked against it of course. All the family members have not voted, by the way. Just the people on Jury Two.

AR: You suggested you thought the jury process was dominated by the design professionals.

TB: I thought it was railroaded. Yeah, that’s right. I don’t know that for sure, but it seem…. You know when I told people about the process. I won’t get into that now, because I don’t have the… but what happened, … we wanted to get out of there. It was warm, and everybody wanted to get home, and I too, but I was not going to let this go. What they did is they: “okay, we’ve got five designs here: put number one, first choice, two, second choice, three, four, five, all of you.” Then they took them in, made the count, privately, secretly. It was not an open process. And then what they did was say okay, now we got that. I we want you to [rank] the top three, in your estimation, for the design, so the people did. The other two were gone. So then we went with the three: “We’d like to have you go one, two and three again,” and that was the final vote. It was 9 to 6.

AR: So they never did a vote between the crescent design and the second favorite?

TB: No no no. Just the way I said. We just put the number down in the order in which you like them, and boom, we got out of there in a hurry. Wasn’t so bad except, the people who were running it, from Portland Oregon, the design people…

AR: This was Don somebody?

TB: I may even think of his name. Helene? What was her name? (Unintelligible voice in the background).

AR: You think it sounds something like “Eleen,” “Helene”?

TB: Helene is the woman, his partner. These people are design specialists, and they build things, contract to build, and assign guys like Murdoch to build them, all around the world, embassies, couple embassies and so on. I still haven’t kept the guy’s name but…

AR: I should be able to find that.

TB: You probably will, if you dig…. Now let me give you my letter. Is that okay?

AR: Yeah. That’d be great.

TB: And ah, again, I don’t like the media, but ah, when I’m talking to Jim Ramstad, our representative, he said that’s an important thing to do. Let people know how you feel.

AR: And especially now…

TB: So I wrote a letter… I don’t have a heading on this, but I sent it out to several different newspapers a long time ago:
I am Tom Burnett Sr., father of Tom Burnett Jr., who led the effort to take Flight 93 back from the Islamists. He did something. Now I must do something. I must speak out against the memorial planned for Shanksville.

The design, “Crescent of Embrace,” by Paul Murdoch, which [will run? has won?] approval by some, and to those who are now clamoring to support it, though they think the design can be tweaked to make it acceptable…
TB: That was their word.

AR: That it can be “tweaked”?

TB: Yeah. Some of the people on our committee—some of the family members—came up with the idea that we better change it. It [the crescent design] was against ALL the rules in my book.

AR: Okay. So when they were voting on it, they were voting on it provisional with some changes being made?

TB: The possibility was there and it was mentioned, but this “tweaking” came up afterwards. The family members suggested it because there was a … there was a huge… the United States went against this! Did you ever read Michelle Malkin’s blog?

AR: Yeah. I was reading all the blogs carefully at that point. I saw all the comments on it, pretty much.

TB: Then I wrote the letter, that I’ll read to you also, to the jury members, about this “tweaking” business. They wanted to change it, to make it acceptable, and Murdoch agreed with it.

[So both letters were written at the height of the crescent controversy in the press, when the families were talking about responding to the controversy by “tweaking” the design, and it seems that the majority of the newspapers that Mr. Burnett sent the letters to never published them!]

Okay, I’ll continue now:
… acceptable, semicolon; … I do not approve or accept it as a fitting memorial to those passenger and crew on Flight 93.

Mr. Murdoch’s plan just isn’t 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.

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 preeminently 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.

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 forty Americans, forty heroes, died.

There is no way that a “red crescent of embrace” should be accepted. It will not work. Even with all of the tweaking people have suggested. Paul Murdoch, the architect, whose firm insists that his submission was about “healing and contemplation”…
TB: Those are his words. I’ve got them in quotes, “healing and contemplation”:
The power of “wind chimes,” that he also proposes, is about the size and height of a minaret. Tall, and or taller, than on a mosque. Mr. Murdoch wants TWO Islamic symbols for our memorial. This must not happen.
TB: You see more [Islamic features], and I agree with you. There’s more there.

AR: [Laughs] Yup.

TB: [Laughs] You know more about it than I do. Now… and there’s a paragraph now:
No to this design, the “red crescent of embrace.” This proposed design memorial bastardizes what my son and others did on Flight 93.
This all went on deaf ears, apparently. I sent it to a Pennsylvania newspaper and … I didn’t send it to our local paper. I was just reluctant to. But I’d like, if you will, if you’d like to take the time, I wrote the jury members a letter too, September 10th 2005.

AR: Yeah. Let’s get that one too. One question about this first letter. Do you know which paper you sent it to in Pennsylvania?

TB: I think I sent it to the Tribune Democrat. I’m not positive about that. Which one does Swauger work for?

AR: Swuager works for the Tribune Democrat.

TB: I’m not sure. You know, I didn’t have a heading on that. I sent it and… one of my friends said, “why don’t you send it to The New York Times. A lot of people read that.” But I didn’t do that. I don’t know if I sent one to Philadelphia or not. I’ll have to… I’ll see what I can find. … Any other questions?

AR: No. It’s just very interesting to find that you also recognized the minaret.

TB: Right. Hell yes! You know… but they pooh-poohed it. [The jury apparently.] Ah, they had a guy on that thing in charge of memorials around the world, the government, one of which is in Hawaii of course [the Arizona memorial?], and he went along with this. I think he went along because so many other people did. He went along, … against what I said. Oh… okay! Pittsburgh Post Gazette!

AR: Oh you sent it to the Post Gazette! Wow. That’s very interesting. Very interesting.

TB: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 9/10/05. This is to the jury members. “Dear Jury members: September 10th, 2005.”

AR: So this is …. It’s this second letter that you sent to the Post Gazette?

TB: Yeah. “Oh boy,” I say, “the dawn came up like thunder out here in flyover land,” paragraph:
I will attach the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 9/10/05, headline: “Flight 93 memorial decried as Islam symbol.”

I have been asked many times: “Didn’t anyone on the Stage Two jury recognize the Crescent of Embrace as a universal Muslim symbol?”

To the point, four [?]: Please send everyone a copy of the notes of the meeting during which I, Tom Burnett, brought up the point that the crescent is a Muslim symbol, and the discussion that ensued.

I am somewhat hesitant to bring this up, but I feel it is of the utmost importance. The crescent is a universal Muslim symbol. That symbol is unacceptable for a memorial that will reputedly honor the victims of Flight 93. Those who had the courage to get out of their seats and fight back, those who had the courage to overpower terror, over fanatical Muslims.

It is very interesting that in the Stage Two jury report, under jury recommendations, number 5 says: “Words and labels; consider the interpretation and impact of words within the context of this event. The crescent should be referred to as a circle or arc or other words that are not tied to specific religious iconography.”
TB: So you see? They were setting it up already. [Laughs] … In other words: “You think our way. We’re saying that this is not a CRESCENT of embrace. This is not Muslim. This is not … you think of it as a circle.”

AR: They’re telling you … there making it a crescent and telling you to think of it as a circle.

TB: And I was asked personally: “Listen, would you vote for it if we used the word “circle,” or “arc”? And I said “no.” What the hell? You change words. A pig is a pig!

[This may explain the mystery of why the Crescent of Embrace name was not changed to something more benign from the outset, when the jury report itself suggested avoiding the crescent name. The person who was objecting out loud to the name was Tom and he said that changing the name would not change his vote, so apparently they decided there was no point in changing the name. Thank God. Look how hard it is to break this story even when the Memorial Project was so bold as to use the crescent name. If they could deny today it was EVER a crescent, it would be that much harder to explain to people that the Mecca oriented crescent is still there in a slightly disguised form that leaves its religious significance completely intact.]

AR: It is interesting that in the end, they didn’t even follow their own recommendation.

TB: [Laughs hard]. And we had these people. … They were from Harvard…. [USC?], Pennsylvania University, … they were all landscape architects, and they wanted to consider the aesthetics of it. Don’t be stupid, you know. In effect, they said: “Don’t be stupid. That’s an aesthetic symbol. That’s all, and it’s used all over the place.” They were telling us how to interpret it!

AR: Interesting.

TB: Next paragraph:
It is amazing to me that this was not changed before it was presented to the public.
TB: And I really WAS surprised, you know:
Didn’t enough people realize what the symbol represented, or did someone make the decision that this could be fixed later, if someone had the guts to protest? Did that someone realize that the American public would notice, or did they think they were stupid? I don’t think Paul Murdoch, or anyone else, can convince the public that the crescent is not offending to our loved ones, whether the crescent is part of architectural vocabulary or not. The public will not believe them.
TB: I have to believe that the crescent was discussed at the Murdoch planning meeting. Jim Ramstead, representative, and his right hand man who worked in his office, agreed with me. How could they miss this? How could landscape architects miss this? It had to be planned, is my point. Next paragraph:
My wife reported to me that there was concern by family members [about] having CROSSES in the memorial. They did not [want] to offend anyone by putting up crosses. And my family has visited national cemeteries. Your religious preference can be placed on your headstone. I have never heard that people complained about doing it that way. Now, do we have any family members being offended because of the Muslim symbol? I read in the article that Kenny Nacke…
TB: You know the name?

AR: Yes.

TB: He had a brother on the flight. Kenny Nacke said, quote:
It doesn’t affect my decision on it in any way. I’m still happy with it.
TB: Then we have Tom Sokolowski. I sat next to Tom Sokolowski at the meeting. [Starts laughing.] Talk about a pecksniff!

AR: You’ll like what I say about him in the book.

TB: [Laughs] Well you know, he dismissed me as being a nut. Tom Sokolowski, not a family member, said that the claim is “asinine.” He used the word “asinine.”

AR: So he used that in the meeting. I know he used that to describe this guy [Ron McRae] who protested in public about it [the crescent]. He actually used it to describe…

TB: He used it at the meeting.

AR: So this was anybody who criticized the crescent and thought it was a Muslim symbol?

TB: “The claim is asinine,” he said. Of course I was sitting right to his left. I could have popped him one, but I didn’t. [Laughs] It wasn’t worth it. [Continues]:
The third person interviewed was Gordon Felt, said it was an “unfortunate distraction,” and said it would be SILLY for us to have in the memorial some sort of symbolism, in parentheses, full parentheses, that would be offensive to people. [i.e. Felt’s SILLY comment was a parenthetical remark, dismissing the notion that the jury members would have accepted anything offensive.]
TB: Holy Mackerel! … That’s ME explaining.

AR: Right.

TB: “[Crosstalk] .. with Gordon, it would be more than silly, it would be horrible.”

I also comment on the voting procedure:
I really want to know exactly how it was tabulated. On page 4 and 5 of 12 [of the Jury Report] it is described as the following: “Day three of the Stage Two jury session began with a period of individual study [laughs], followed by an in depth discussion of the three entries remaining under consideration. Following further discussion and polling, the jury narrowed it to two entries, ongoing discussion, and final vote by the jury resulted in one entry receiving a majority of the jurors votes. By consensus the Stage Two jury forwards this section of the Flight 93 memorial to the partner [Paul Murdoch] with the full and unqualified support of each juror.
TB: I laughed. I got out of there. I did talk to Swauger right after that. I can’t remember what we talked about. I guess I ah, I threw my hands up. My final sentence, and final paragraph:
Let’s have the tally of the vote.
TB: Okay. That is what I sent to the jurors. I heard nothing back. Okay Alec. You’ve been very patient with me. … But ah… I’m FOR you on this. I will do what I can, small though it may be, when called upon.

AR: Okay.

TB: And I am contacting Ramstad. I like Tancredo, because he’s got a lot of common sense.

AR: Right.

TB: You know what we’d like to do. [Unintelligible] has been in on this thing. She’s been on the board for years now, ever since this started. [In our unrecorded call Tom said that his wife is on the board of the Families of Flight 93.] We want the government to pull funding and do a complete audit. They want a hundred million for this thing. I don’t think the public can afford the cost. And I want you to know that I am for the simple… this is a little off the beat maybe but… I want a simple plan. I would like to see a cemetery there, at Shanksville. Nothing ostentatious at all, and certainly not those 44 glass blocks. Absolutely insane. I can’t understand why people don’t get it.

AR: And how they think that an architect could do that unintentionally.

TB: There’s something wrong with this whole thing. 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. And by the way, he was very polite. I talked to him for about an hour on the telephone, and he assured me, again and again, when I asked these questions—I mentioned this earlier—that he was not a Muslim, none of his family were Muslims.

I kind of felt that he was extending a hand to the Islamists. I didn’t want to extend a hand!

AR: Right. I think that is what they meant by the embrace: that they were going to embrace Islam too, and try to reach out to the good people of Islam, or whatever their thought was.

TB: It is all… I can’t say the words in public. It is all SHIT. I can’t believe it. …About the people I’ve talked to on the telephone: its been a long time. I know I’m holding you but I talked to Reynolds [chairman of the Memorial Project]. Know the name?

AR: Right.

TB: I talked to Joanne Hanley [Superintendent of the Memorial Project]. Of course she was at the meetings that we had when I was out there. I get nowhere when I talk to them. … Who was the other one?

AR: Reinbold? [Memorial Project manager]

TB: Yeah Reinbold. I talked to all three of them on the telephone, telling them pretty much what I am telling you, and this was a long long time ago.

AR: So this was before you knew the specific things I was pointing out?

TB: Yeah. Before I knew what you were doing! I’ve learned about you gradually. And of course we are reading, got it off of the internet, part of your book. And we will be reading the book. …

For a hundred million dollars, they haven’t worked very well. They have kind of excluded it, kind of taken it over. …

[We talk about some personal things. I say how proud I am of his son.]

TB: We know for sure of Tom: he organized that group to fight the Islamists.

And listen. I am so happy you are doing this.

AR: There’s a couple questions I have for you.

TB: Okay.

AR: Would you like it if I go ahead and make public that you do not want Tom’s name used?

TB: You would call the newspapers?

AR: I will just put it on my blog. The blogs count as a news source now. The newspapers, when they report it…

TB: That’s fine.

AR: … will just cite me as the source, or will just quote that you have come out saying….

TB: I suppose you want to use some of the letter that I just read to you.

AR: Yup. And I would put perhaps the whole thing, maybe part of it.

TB: Yes Alec. I think we HAVE to. It’s not that I pull a lot of weight around. I know that. I’m one of forty.

AR: Yeah, but this is crucial. We are really in ..

TB: You can quote me on this.

AR: Okay.

TB: It’s on the record. You can do that.

AR: And your whole family is okay with coming out and taking a stand against this design?

TB: Yes.

AR: Keeping the Burnett name out of it?

TB: Yeah. We don’t want it used at all, if that design stays in. We’ve got to audit this process, and we’ve got to get to the TRUTH! That’s really what we’re after.

AR: Another question. When you talked to Murdoch about your concerns, did you have any of my information? Like did you ask him about the Mecca orientation of the crescent, for instance?

TB: I don’t believe I did. That was a LONG time ago. Shortly after the jury left.

AR: So he was just assuring you that there was no Islamic symbolism, no Muslims in his family?

TB: Yes. And Murdoch, he denied all of it. He said [no I didn’t?]. But you know, it doesn’t make sense to me. Anyone who does architectural design, landscape design, is keenly aware of where symbols … why wouldn’t they vet that properly? [Here Tom is talking about the Murdoch firm, and expressing skepticism that they were not aware of the block count and other symbols. I jump the "they" over to the people at the Memorial Project.]

AR: Yeah. They just relied on his denials. If he is on the side of the enemy, he’s not the guy you should be listening to.

TB: Nope. Hell!

AR: [Laughs]

TB: Listen. Even if it is incidental. He tried to impress me with the fact that… coincidental is all. He kept saying that. And you know, I have a hard time believing that. I certainly know nothing about architecture, but at least I’m, at least I know what I SEE.

By the way. My family. Immediate family, HAS voted on this: to eliminate Tom Jr.’s name.

AR: Oh. Okay.

TB: Now, the only thing, when I asked [Tom Jr.'s widow] about a year ago, she didn’t give me a yes. So, probably leave her name off it.

AR: So, she was an abstention?

TB: Yeah. Let me tell you this though. Thy ALL voted against the design, within our family.

When it comes to Tom Jr.’s name, yes we did, we talked about it when I was down in Little Rock, and… she was hesitant because of the publicity. She has those three little kids.

[I cannot think of a way to describe the family’s support for Tom Sr.’s position on use of Tom Jr.'s name without mentioning the abstention of Tom Jr.'s widow so I am including it here and just ask everyone to please respect the privacy of those family members who ask for it.]

AR: One last question I have is: I’m wondering if you can tell me what the Memorial Project told the family members about my report.

TB: They’ve been damning it. In any email that we get, they give you talking points against it. They want people to, when they are asked about it, to (unintelligible). That is really anathema to me. To have someone tell me, ANYONE tell me, how to think!

They talk about it every now and then. Ed Root, and others. Gordie Felt, and others. They say: “Hey.” You’ve probably seen it. It has been published, a lot of it. [Statements against me by Root, Felt and Patrick White (Vice President of the Families of Flight 93) have all been published in local western Pennsylvania newspapers.] I can’t tell you specifically, but they pooh-pooh it.

[I ask if Tom will send me the Jury Report and other materials he has.]

TB: I hope we can prevail against this.

AR: I’m sure we will. What the people who are supporting this design are doing: they are just counting on their ability to suppress this information. It’s too explosive. They can’t keep this information down.

TB: [Laughs] You’d think we lived in the Middle East!

AR: Yeah! The number of people who have been suppressing the information. It is just crazy.

[We make mailing and emailing arrangements.]

TB: It’s been nice talking to you.

AR: It has been VERY nice talking to you. You know, the family members I did talk to were very hostile to me and I just didn’t want to bother anybody.

TB: I know. And anybody who opposes what they see as passed by democratic vote, they treat the same way. It’s not just you Alec. It’s other people too, including some family members.

[Including Tom himself I presume. This commentary from Tom explains the very peculiar response I kept getting from Memorial Project representatives when I tried to show them how, unbeknownst to them, the memorial design they had chosen was actually a terrorist memorial mosque: that the enemy had snuck into their design competition, and won! Superintendent Joanne Hanley and others kept extolling the "open and inclusive process" by which the design was chosen, adding: "we all understand and agree that the design neither depicts or was intended to imply any religious iconography." (Addendum 10, Exhibit 1.)

What??? Who cares what you THOUGHT. I am showing you what you MISSED. But now I see where this was coming from. They already had these talking points in place as a response to Mr. Burnett's criticisms. They all had the same information that Mr. Burnett had when they chose the crescent design, thus his continued objections to Islamic symbolism was portrayed as him being a sore loser. He lost a democratic vote and was supposed to shut up now. (Strange view of democracy.) Again and again the letters I got from the Park Service describe "the continued support that the families of Flight 93 have had for the selected design" (Exhibit 5), as if the families were in unanimous agreement. Having lost the jury vote, objections about Islamic symbolism were no longer even to be acknowledged.

UPDATE: As if on cue, Ed Root has now told reporters, in response to Mr. Burnett's standing up with me in protest of the design: "To allow someone to destroy what so many others have worked so honestly and diligently to do, that's not democracy, that's tyranny."]

TB: Most of the family members, those who voted against the design, they don’t want to speak out. They don’t want to be bothered by the folks who are pushing this.

By the way… Have you gotten any other support besides from me?

AR: Not from family members. I’ve been reluctant. The impression I got from family members is that they felt like they have been hounded by publicity and they just want privacy. I don’t want to go against that so I have been very reluctant to reach out to family members. Even, say, Lisa Beamer, who has been outspoken against this appeasement of the Islamists. I have just been leaving it up to people to contact me if they want to.

[At the beginning of 2006, I sent Mr. Burnett and the other family members on the jury the same report I sent to the Memorial Project leadership, along with my contact information. I had been hoping he would call me, and it was indeed VERY nice to hear from him.]

[Rosemary Woods type gap in tape, where I pressed record by mistake instead of play.]

AR: … that’s right. They are about to start building it.

TB: And there are so many aspects to it. It’s hard for me to recall some of these things until I look in my files.

I’ll do what I can.

[Goodbyes]

Comments:
Tom Burnett God bless you for speaking up. We're all behind you and I see you as someone who has great potential influence if you refuse to be silenced by the intimidation of these "designers" and managers. They don't have any special "architectural" knowledge that the rest of us are unaware of and for them to deny the symbolic effects of this memorial design is ludicrous and outrageous. Noone needs to go to 5 years of design studio to see it. Everyone I've shown it to sees it immediately. God bless you Tom for speaking out and giving voice to common sense. I hope we can get some traction from this and get this design changed. Congress needs to step up and do fix this thing.
 
Something that I wonder is whether the designer may be attempting to surreptitously communicate the idea that "Islam is responsible for the crash of flight 93". "The death of those people originated in Mecca." In other words, maybe the design has the purpose not of memorializing Islam, but assigning it responsibility for the tragedy. That is objectively true but is something that is still not widely embraced by people in authority in the US, obsessed as they are by the "Islam is a religion of peace" fiction.

So maybe this is a surreptitious but brilliant attempt to assert the truth of the matter, that Islam is the reason for the terror attacks of 9/11.
 
Tom Burnett,

Now I understand why your son was so courageous on Sept. 11,2001. On that day, I was proud to have the same name as your son, but now I'm even more proud to have the same name as you. You are truly a courageous man and I for one will be contacting my Congressman to help you.

Tom Burnett from Huntington Beach, CA
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
Marshall: Thanks for answering that foul creature who commented ahead of you, but I can't leave his filth up, or any reference to it.
 
Alec, thank you so much for working to get this travesty before the American public. We have been a people who like to honor our heros in such a way that reflects Our Culture and not an evil culture that would kill those who don't agree with thier concept of a so called God. I personally am a Christian and will die before I walk any path other than that of the "Prince of Peace" who died for me. Mr. Burnett, my condolences to you and your family and gratitude that you raised such a brave and heroic son. It is obvious to me that he inherited his corageous spirit from his father and the home he was raised in. May God give you comfort in knowing other Americans like myself will fight for the honor of your family and heroic son.

HoosierArmyMom
 
To the person who said:

"...the designer may be attempting to surreptitously communicate the idea that 'Islam is responsible for the crash of flight 93. The death of those people originated in Mecca',"

You realize, of course, that people going to pay their respects at this memorial would be finding their consolation inside the embrace of an Islamic crescent, right? You do see that?

I am a symbolist artist. This design is deliberate, its genesis being an attempt to insulate Islam from blame and push Americans to forgive the terrorists and their cause. It won't and we don't.

Tom is a brave and honorable man. More power to you, Tom. We are behind you.
 
The design is clearly a celebration of the "freedom fighters" who made history and were martyred in the name of allah, since their anti-capitalist, jihadist palestinian cause is infinitely more important on the liberal priority list than a bunch of greedy, wasteful American Jews & Christians (lowest form of humans) on a flight to California. Definitely according to liberal fascist wackos like Paul Murdoch who was chosen to design the memorial. Just take a look at his own company website and the bizarre new age language he uses to describe his architectural philosophy and his projects which are all low design, 1960's passe, throwaway, modern monstrosites of the type that continue to uglify our country. It is simply unnacceptable to have one of these sickening urban vegan marxist types in charge of honoring our brave men and women on flight 93 who we wish to mourn and remember.
 
i am giving you my empathy with your loss and sharing my tremendous regard and respect for what your son did and what it shows about the person he was and is for this is forever.

PLEASE NOTE::: OBAMA's website
shows the very same HALF CIRCLE above the horizon of the american flag!!!!!! i relate this with
his sitting for 20 yrs with wright
spewing that usa is terr...ist
and 'g dam america'and newsmax.com has a witness that saw obama there
july 22 when these comments were also made; also obama's slogan on the web and at events list faith as one of the things he asks you to have;also he and his wife in their talks and college theses said
that they are going to ask americans to do a lot of things; like giving up material things and
believing in 'faith'; HE was raised
in a moslem school and how much money has he been paid by oil and
moslem countries? Please tell me what you think and if you agree we must speak out mt email is eval4U@yahoo.com
 
Good eye Eval. A couple weeks ago I made up an animation of Obama's logo that shows its startling similarity to the world's two most famous mihrabs. The animation is in a blogburst post that I haven't had a chance to run yet. The post contrasts the liklihood of Islamic intent in the Obama-logo case to the liklihood of Islamic intent in the the case of the Flight 93 memorial's likeness to these same mihrabs.

Obama's logo was designed by a Chicago branding company that seems naive to the Islamic symbol shapes, while the Flight 93 memorial includes endless proofs of Islamic intent. Flight 93 architect Paul Murdoch first points his giant crescent at Mecca, then he repeats this Mecca-orientation in the crescents of trees that surround the Tower of Voices portion of the memorial.

I haven't found space to publish the animation in our weekly blogbursts yet because there is so much news coverage of the crescent controversy to post right now, but if anyone wants a preview, here is the animation, sans commentary. It shows how Obama's logo can actually be seen to contain BOTH of the two traditional symbols of Islam: the crescent and the curved Islamic sword.
 
When I look at the Qibla orientation overlaid on the monument, I see that is it pointing NW. If you go NW from Pennsylvania you end up in Europe. Look on a globe, Mecca is somewhat south of west of Pennsylvania.



I am missing something here?
 
I think you mean northeast, not NW. Other than that, the only thing you are missing is you aren't going far enough. Yes, the great circle line from the crash site to Mecca crosses Europe. Just don't stop there! Travel on a straight line starting 55.2 degrees clockwise from north at the crash site, and you will cross through France, along the coast of Italy, across the Mediterranian, through Egypt, and on down the Arabian Peninsula to Mecca.

Picture here.
 
A good architect would have seen the problem immediately and fixed it A great architect would never have created such a problem in the first place. A crescent whoa Thank you Tom for your bravery and wisdom.
 
In order to keep where the crash was untouched & keep with the landscape & allow people to view the area, it's hard for them to do any thing BUT what they're planning on doing. I was over there in July '11 & see absolutely nothing wrong. They'll have thousands of people there this weekend. How else are they supposed to have people view it? One side of where the plane crashed is all trees in the mountains, the other side's a giant open field. Think people!!! They don't have many options but a semi circle or crescent or what ever you want to call it! Have you been there or seen it for yourself?
 
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