Friday, July 22, 2005
Take Back the Memorial is an online voice for all who believe that Ground Zero is no place for politics. Our goal is a fitting and proper memorial to be built for those who perished on September 11th, and to tell the story of that fateful day - and that day alone.
Take Back the Memorial was inspired by the op-ed piece written by 9/11 family member and World Trade Center Memorial Foundation board member Debra Burlingame, The Great Ground Zero Heist which appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 8, 2005. In this op-ed, Ms. Burlingame details the disturbing and disrespectful plans the IFC has for this very sacred site.
New York Governor George Pataki recently summed up how most Americans feel about Ground Zero while addressing this controversy:
I view that memorial site as sacred grounds, akin to the beaches of Normandy or Pearl Harbor, and we will not tolerate anything on that site that denigrates America, denigrates New York or freedom, or denigrates the sacrifice or courage that the heroes showed on Sept. 11.
We agree. But saying the words are not enough.
For the one-year anniversary of 9/11, Mayor Rudy Guliani penned an essay that illustrated the enormity of that day - and the lasting imprint it will leave on the hearts and minds of most Americans, especially the family members of those that died that day. He began his essay this powerful statement:
Twelve months have passed. The debris is gone. The thousands who worked tirelessly to rescue and recover those who died no longer dig through the night. The twisted remains of New York’s two biggest buildings no longer stand as reminders of the worst attack in American history. But I haven’t changed. When I go to ground zero now, I feel as shocked, angry and resolute as I did a year ago. On Sept. 14, 2001, I flew over the site in a helicopter with President George W. Bush and Governor George Pataki. I had been there many times during the three days after the attack, but that was the first time I had seen the smoking ruins from above. It was indescribably awful. A year has done nothing to erase these images from my mind.
Neither has four years for the 9/11 families and most Americans, myself included. That is why it is so important that any memorial or museum built at this site remain dedicated exclusively to telling the story of 9/11, free from external interpretation or context, in the same spirit as the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Oklahoma City Memorial, the Arizona Memorial, and all other national memorials of major historical significance.
At the end of her op-ed, Mr. Burlingame said that ground zero had been stolen right from under our noses and asked a question - “How do we get it back?” It is my hope that Take Back the Memorial, in conjunction with the tireless efforts of the family members, their fellow Americans and friends from around the world will help answer that question.
Take Back the Memorial is coordinated closely with 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America. It is an honor to be a part of this effort. I would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone who has signed our petition and contributed to the site. So far we have over 2 million site hits and nearly 27,000 petition signatures, in addition to over 1,200 guestbook entries - all since our launch on June, 8, 2005. The response has been overwhelming; America is answering the call to action.
Together we will accomplish our goal: No Politics at Ground Zero. Period.
Visit www.takebackthememorial.org today and get involved.