- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Pentagon Memorial is dispiriting. The metallic aircraft wing-type benches strewn across a bleak terrain of gravel, metal tracking and puddles of murky water creates a cold, dismal, lifeless image that evokes an overriding sense of defeat and sadness. A few tiny trees - the only form of life - are harbingers of hope that in the distant future may grace an otherwise graceless, stark and mournful patch of pity. Though the victims are recognized collectively at the entrance, the names on the benches are inconspicuous and are placed in a manner that makes them difficult to read.

It is unclear whether the planners of the memorial intended that people sit on the benches. Sitting in such an environment, contemplating a catastrophe, is not only uninviting but implausible.

The overall effect is exacerbated at night, when the memorial emits an otherworldly, eerie glow reminiscent of a desolate, alien landscape straight out of a spooky sci-fi movie.

The memorial’s failure is that it perpetuates a disaster when it should have elicited and evidenced the indomitable will of a nation to triumph over evil with a palpable, soaring spirit.

JAMES M. MATAYA

Annandale


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