Michael Burke: My brother died in 9-11 ... his memory is ill-served by the planned memorial

Roundup: Talking About History

On 9/11, my brother, FDNY Capt. William F. Burke, Jr. of Eng. Co. 21 gave his life. I served on the advisory committee to the memorial and the advisory committee to the museum and memorial center.

I have had several op-eds published on the memorial at the WTC site; in the Wall Street Journal (06/26/03, “On Heroes and Victims”) and in the NY Daily News, Westchester Journal, etc.

Currently the “National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center” foundation, chaired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC, is touring the U.S. to raise funds to help build the memorial.

“It is rare,” the V.P. of Public Affairs of the foundation said recently while the tour stopped in Lexington, KY, “that each of us has a chance to build history.”

However, the first function of the memorial at the WTC site is to deny September 11. By contributing toward building the memorial Americans are not building history; they are deconstructing it.

As per the 13 member jury of clueless intellectuals and artists there can be no history or evidence of the attacks restored to the site “in order to preserve the integrity of the memorial.”

None of what we all commemorated the attacks by will be there: the façade remnants; the Koenig Sphere; the crushed fire trucks. There will be no recognition of the flag raising by the FDNY. In fact, as per Bloomberg, the acronym “FDNY” cannot be part of the memorial; nor the word “firefighter.”

The victims (“losses” as the jury refers to them w/o any reference to how and why they were “lost”) will be identified with as little reference to 9/11 as the memorial’s founders can get away with. In response to families protest, Bloomberg said, “The memorial is not just for the families but for America.” So, there can be no reference to the attacks upon America at America’s memorial.

“Less is more,” Bloomberg has said.

Ignoring the history of 9/11, the jury used Maya Lin’s (who sat on the jury) Vietnam War memorial as their inspiration. They will use “minimalist” architecture to discard all the history of the attacks (it would “tell us what to think”) and replace that with “ambiguity.”

9/11 is not something that anybody did; it is just something that happened to us.

The purpose of the memorial is to remake the WTC site to replace the authentic artifacts of the attacks with “art” – our interpretation of 9/11. The statement is clear: despite 9/11, truth still belongs to the individual; the self is preeminent. All morality and truth is relative. There is no genuine innocence or guilt; no evil or goodness. Since the self is preeminent and all truth relative, sacrifice makes no sense. Nor does duty, faith, and patriotism.

Visitors to the site are not to make any judgment, take away any lesson or find any inspiration or resolution.

The only obligation we have at the site is to ourselves.

Which denies 9/11. We are getting at the WTC site a monument to their values and beliefs; values and beliefs of an era 9/11 ended.

And they are clueless to the fact that the ideology that did this is still out there; that commemorating 9/11 is not merely an academic exercise; that they still hate us and want us dead.
And they are asking America to pay for it.

I do not expect the New York Times or 90% of the rest of the liberal media to broadcast these facts; 9/11 changed everything; this would change it back. They are all for that. However, the conservative media ignoring of it I do not understand.

My question is, where’s the outrage?

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