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Once again revisionist history. Please write a letter

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Once again revisionist history. Please write a letter
From Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:00 am to Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:59 am (included)
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To All,

As anyone who has been involved with this process can tell you the article below is total revisionist history. Once again just stating the Memorial party line.

We fought for over a year to get them to finally agree to move the names above ground.

Rosaleen Tallon had to make a sidewalk vigil to raise awareness of the fact that the families’ voices were not being heard.

It had nothing to do with saving money.

The Memorial Committee has continued to shut the families out about the way the names are to be listed.

But none of this is even mentioned in Mr. Dunap’s article and I do not know of one family member or group that was contacted about this article.

I ask everyone who visits the Where to Turn or Put It Above Ground websites to write a letter demanding that the true story about the listing of the names is told.

I also ask all of the the over 14,000 people who signed the Put It Above Ground petition to respond as well.

Let Mr. Dunlap know that this is history he is writing about and not His Story.


Display of Names at Trade Center Memorial Is a Painstaking Process


Published: March 23, 2009

Each name, slightly more than one-and-a-half inches tall, will carry the most intimate memories. All 2,982 names together, arrayed atop parapets stretching more than 1,500 feet around two great pools, will convey the vastness of the loss.

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Slide Show

Momentous Thought to the Smallest Detail
With such a range of scale and so many emotions attached, it is no wonder that one of the simplest architectural details of the new World Trade Center — the parapets around the memorial pools — has taken so long to design.

Officials with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum hope to unveil the final design of the parapets by summer. “It’s been a great learning process,” said Joseph C. Daniels, the president and chief executive. It has also been a prolonged, exacting and sometimes contentious process.

It has involved full-scale mockups at a Lower Manhattan office, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, at a warehouse in Berkeley, Calif., and a backyard in Richmond Hill, Ontario. It has required endless tinkering with the size, shape and style of letters. It has called for painstaking efforts to harness water so that it will perform just right. It has compelled constant adjustments to the parapets’ perimeters to ensure the best sight lines.

And it has meant confronting a requirement in the New York City Building Code that the parapets be exactly 42 inches high.

Each move threatened to complicate what is intended to be a stark embodiment of absence. “The guiding principle was not to have anything additive or unnecessary,” said the architect Michael Arad. His entry won the memorial design competition in 2003, after he was paired with the landscape architectural firm Peter Walker & Partners of Berkeley.

There have been so many revisions that the designers almost ran out of alphabet. “We ended up at Option Y,” Mr. Arad said.

Mr. Arad’s original notion was to place enormous sunken pools where the twin towers stood. Underground galleries were to surround the pools, with low parapets on which the victims’ names would be inscribed. However, these galleries were eliminated in 2006 to save money. That brought the names display to street level, turning the plaza into the memorial.

Another important change in 2006 occurred when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is the chairman of the memorial, gave up the idea of displaying names randomly. Instead, they will be arranged to keep co-workers and family members together.

There will be 1,568 names around the north pool, representing 1,475 people who were in or around the north tower, 87 people aboard the jetliner that hit it and 6 victims of the 1993 bombing of the trade center. The 1,414 names around the south pool will include 441 emergency workers — chiefly firefighters and police officers, 690 people from the south tower, 60 from the plane that hit it, 125 at the Pentagon, 59 from the jetliner that hit it and 39 from the jet that crashed in Pennsylvania.

In 2007, the designers explored a creative way to comply with the building code. It involved small peripheral pools at plaza level where water will be stored before falling into the giant pools below. If these upper pools were 42 inches deep, the designers reasoned, they would honor the barrier requirement unobtrusively. The names panels would have been almost flush with the plaza surface, set within the upper pools.

Abstractly speaking, it was elegant. But there were problems. “Having the names on the ground made some individuals feel they weren’t getting the respect they needed,” Mr. Daniels said.

Another concern, he said, was that the absence of any visible barriers might make visitors anxious about approaching the edge of the enormous pools and waterfalls. “It shouldn’t be a scary experience,” Mr. Daniels said. “It should be awe-inspiring and reverential.”

But what finally compelled the designers to raise the name panels roughly to an adult’s waist level — besides the requirement to do so — was the idea that visitors would want to touch the names as well as read them.

“The moment of circumnavigation around the pools is a moment of communion with the dead,” Mr. Arad said, “and the notion of making it felt is very important.”

Thomas H. Rogér, a memorial board member whose daughter, Jean, was a crew member on the plane that hit the north tower, recalled going “back and forth” on such details as whether the letters in the names should be raised or cut out.

In the end, the designers decided that cut-out letters would work best for rubbings and could be effectively back-lit at night. (The typeface they chose, Optima, was designed by Hermann Zapf in 1958.) Raised letters will indicate categories like Flight 11, North Tower or Engine Company 10.

Even an element so minute had a meaningful consequence. “A big part of the whole issue are the rubbings that people will want to take of the names,” Mr. Rogér said. “That was something we never wanted to lose.”
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