Another anniversary of the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center disaster is upon us and the elaborate enormously expensive shrine being built at the site of the catastrophe would surely make Osama Bin Laden and his small ragged band of Al Qaida disciples beam with pride.
No doubt they all have framed photographs of the massive ground zero memorial hanging prominently on their living room walls in fond remembrance of their triumph. This memorial, and the annual American hyperbole surrounding the 9/11 event, will amount to a magnificent tribute to their hero forever.
Most Americans just don’t understand this fact because they are blinded by their emotional reactions to what happened on 9/11. Those who are gratified by the chaos and destruction of that day are laughing at the Americans' futile efforts to cope with it all by attempting to find some meaning in its aftermath.
The National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center is actually intended as an awesome spectacle of the event with huge reflecting pools surrounded by waterfalls where the Trade Center buildings once stood and a cavernous underground museum honoring those who tragically lost their lives.
All of this will come at a staggering cost – much of it to taxpayers – of at least $700 million, and is expected to cost another $60 million a year just to operate. By comparison, the National Park Service budgeted $8.4 million this year to operate and maintain Gettysburg National Military Park and $3.6 million for the monument that includes the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Running Arlington National Cemetery, which has more than 14,000 graves and receives 4 million visitors a year, costs $45 million annually.
Just operating the two massive fountains that mark the spots where the twin towers once stood will cost another $4.5 million to $5 million annually, said the foundation's spokesman, Michael Frazier. The foundation and several elected officials have proposed that the American public pick up one-third of the operating costs. Our federal government has already spent $300 million on the project.
Should there be a 9/11 memorial?
Of course there should.
A suitable wall with the names of the victims carved in marble would be appropriate together with a fountain perhaps in a quiet park like atmosphere with trees and flowers; something somber, simple and elegant.
Should the memorial be a monstrosity, cost $700 million and $60 million more every year to operate?
But Americans have a bad habit of overdoing things at the expense of the taxpayers and this extravagant show of unnecessary histrionics is no exception.
Why, for instance is there going to be a huge museum to honor the victims? They’re not historical figures, but simply average Americans who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
While visitors will be allowed into the above-ground portions of the memorial for free, the foundation plans to charge people to descend into the museum's exhibition space, where they will see portraits of the nearly 3,000 victims, hear oral histories of the tragedy and view artifacts such as the staircase World Trade Center workers used to flee on 9/11.
There plainly won’t be any artifacts of historical significance in this museum.
And why emphasize the exact spot where the World Trade Center Towers once stood with massive gaping holes which can only serve to remind the world what Osama Bin Laden was able to accomplish against the mighty United States devil?
At least one fifth of the operating budget or around $12 million per year will be squandered on private security because of terrorism fears. Visitors to the memorial plaza must pass through airport-like security, and armed guards will patrol the grounds.
"The fact of the matter is that this was a place that was attacked twice," said Joseph Daniels, the foundation's president and chief executive.
Once again: Thank-you Osama Bin Laden.
After all, he and all the scumbags who followed him are the true beneficiaries of the annual American 9/11 histrionics.