In the decade since the 9/11 attacks, Americans have found all sorts of ways to eulogize the victims and celebrate the heroes. Some of the monuments are small, some large and even triumphant, but just about all serve as sacred gathering places, small spaces where people can unite and take solace in shared pain. Unfortunately, good intentions don't always breed good design. Sometimes, the results can be downright head-scratching. No harm intended, surely, but really, one has to wonder: What did these folks have in mind?
|The Healing Poles|
At last count, this Washington, D.C., piece contains the rendering of two eagles (one male, to symbolize "war," one female, to symbolize "peace," both engraved into the cross-piece, and two bears, one each on the vertical poles. There's also a turtle's shell in there. Still, pleasing to the eye and with a moving story behind its construction, sometimes "odd" can be touching, too.
The Montgomery County, Pa., contribution to the list depicts two hands grabbing at (or are they letting go?) an eagle. Either way, the hands are downright reptilian and not necessarily the warm, safe place one might hope to find in their contemplation of the attacks.
"The Teardrop Memorial" was originally built for placement in Jersey City, N.J., but was turned away by civic leaders. Can you guess why? Now planted in nearby Bayonne, it was recently included on another list: Foreign Policy magazine's "World's Ugliest Statues." But that might be a bit harsh. One can even argue it has its own unique and ethereal beauty.
This is not an Apple Store at the Boston airport. It's a large glass sculpture around two glass panels that are etched with the names of the passengers and crew of each flight. "The Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial is a place of reflection and remembrance for all those affected by the events of September 11, 2001," according to the Massport website.
|9/11 plaque at the Katyn Memorial|
Don't forget 9/11; but also don't forget the Katyn Massacre monument in Jersey City, N.J. This plaque guarantees both. The latter memorializes the more than 15,000 Polish killed by the Soviets in the Katyn Forest in 1939. When looking at lower Manhattan from across the river in Jersey City, the statue sits in the foreground. When looking at the plaque, it's also ... hard to miss.