9/11 Memorial (Arizona)

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Coordinates: 33°26′55″N 112°5′37.75″W / 33.44861°N 112.0938194°W / 33.44861; -112.0938194

The Arizona memorial to the events of September 11, 2001

The 9/11 Memorial in Arizona is a state memorial to the events and aftermath of the September 11 attacks, located at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza near the State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona. The monument is a circular plan with a flat inclined metal ring. The ring was inscribed with written statements by cutting each letter through the metal, thus allowing sunlight to project the statements onto the concrete base of the monument.

A member of the design team, Eddie Jones, stated: "The attacks gave America a sense of what the rest of the world is feeling, sometimes on a daily basis" and "We're certainly not as innocent as we used to be."

Although she had no editorial control over the final result, the memorial is endorsed by then-Governor Janet Napolitano.[1] "This Memorial is unique, bold, dynamic, educational and unforgettable," says Napolitano. "The thoughts and remarks etched in stone will serve as learning tools for all of us, our children and our children's children."[2]

The memorial is supported by some 9/11 families and survivors and is sponsored by the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix firefighters' union, and Bank of America, among many other institutions. While built on public land, no public funds were used to build or promote the memorial.

Controversy over design intent[edit]

Sunlight projects text through the inclined ring.

The memorial's unveiling five years to the date of the 9/11 attacks generated controversy on conservative weblogs, with many concerned residents alleging an anti-American bias in some of the written statements and a perceived pro-Islam bias based on an alleged crescent shape of the memorial.

Some of the written statements reflecting controversial views inscribed in the memorial include: "Erroneous U.S. Airstrike Kills 46 Uruzgan Civilians", "Congress Questions Why CIA and FBI Didn't Prevent Attacks", "Middle East violence motivates attacks in the US", and "You Don't Win Battles of Terrorism With More Battles".[3] Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said he was stunned to learn of the inscriptions. "To politicize it to me is absolutely outrageous, instead of a memorial to remember those who have sacrificed their lives," he said.[4] The memorial's design was also criticized by Len Munsil, who was running against Napolitano for Arizona Governor at the time of the design unveiling.

In response to public criticism, the Arizona state commission responsible for the memorial has promised to review the context of the inscriptions.[5] Chairman Billy Shields is saddened by the political controversy, but promised to reconvene and review the inscriptions.[6]


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