On this Memorial Day, I looked with great anticipation to the completion of the Pentagon memorial. After all, it has taken years and $22 million dollars (with a $10 million endowment) to complete. The first pictures were released below and I must say that I positively hate the design.
I simply cannot believe that this is the best that we could do to honor the fallen of 9-11. I have a special connection to this site because the plane essentially exploded in my rear-view mirror. I was driving past the stop of the collision when the plane hit seconds later.
I have watched the massive construction project for years. Both my wife and I were astonished when we saw the pictures this weekend. It is cold, uncreative, and devoid of artistic value. The designers appear to have struggle to make the scene as lifeless and barren as posible. I simply do not understand how the design could have been approved. While this may be a bit harsh, but there is a disturbing similarity with the Mars pictures released in the same weekend. Just add benches and a minimal number of trees and you have the same lifeless landscape.
I am a great fan of our memorials. Coming from a family of architects, I was raised to expect memorials to have lasting artistic significance. The two best are the Vietnam Memorial and the Oklahoma City bombing memorial. Indeed, every time that I go to Oklahoma city, I immediately go to the memorial and just sit there in that wonderfully moving space. The people of Oklahoma gave the nation as gem for generations to experience. The New Air Force memorial also meets the artistic and engineering expectations of a great memorial.
While I knew one of the victims on this plane, obviously the families have the greatest call on the design. However, I would have wanted something a bit warmer and less sterile. This could have been so much more for the families and other Americans.
You can be the judge with the pictures below.
For pictures, click here.