Thursday, September 29, 2005

IFC No More

Well, it appears to be official. It looks like Pataki pulled the plug on the IFC at originally planned. I know there are those who would disagree on this but I feel this is a good thing. I think the idea of the IFC as envisioned was a horrible idea. Even leaving out the controversy about potential exhibits within the IFC it was still not a good plan. The way the center was being designed it was painfully obvious that the IFC was, while not necessarily intended, going to overshadow the memorial to the people whose lives were lost on that day.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with an IFC being setup somewhere else but the WTC site is not a good place for it. I understand the arguments given by the proponents of the IFC but I disagree with their conclusions. They profess to be trying to establish a symbol of what freedom represents on the very site where freedom was deliberately attacked. They say that this would be a tribute to those who have fallen defending freedom through the ages and where freedom can be discussed from various viewpoints. Very noble, but flawed.

It is, in my opinion, a mistake to take a place that should be about honoring the lives lost and the courage of those who worked with no thought for themselves to assist those who in need. The monument should not be cheapened by the placement of a center to 'debate' the meaning of freedom. The Pearl Harbor monument over the USS Arizona isn't there to encourage debate about the meaning of liberty. It's there as a tribute to those who gave their lives on that day in the service of their country. The monument to those who died on 9/11 should be no less respectful. To put in place an institution wherein that sacrifice is no longer honored but, in fact, disrespected on the very site of the attack is reprehensible. It was an attempt to use the scene to lend an air of legitimacy to what was a politically motivated proposal. The mere fact that they dismissed out of hand the issues many had with their plan for the IFC illustrates their motives that much more. If they truly were interested in a free discussion of freedom then they would have at least listened to the large number of dissenters. They did not because they were not interested in anything other than their own agenda.

By all means, let those who wish it build an IFC, but don't expect those of us who have any respect for the dead to stand aside and watch you publicly vandalize the graves of those lost so you can score a political victory.


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