USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-08-20-1Agroundzero20_CV_N.htm reported that Diane Horning, the mother of Matt Horning who died on 9/11, "will neither visit nor contribute to the museum, which she describes as too much, too soon."
The article quotes her and further states:
"It lacks the perspective of history," she says. "The museum should have been done years from now, with just a simple memorial for now. We never asked for something this big."
She worries that to attract visitors the museum will sensationalize 9/11 — go for what she calls "the wow factor" — and focus less on the victims than "the men who killed my son." Matt Horning, a database administrator for Marsh & McLennan, died in the north tower.
His mother complains that while the hijackers' faces and histories will be on permanent display "in a room of their own," visitors who want to learn about their victims will have to call up files at a computer station. Museum officials say, "We must tell the true story," she says. "My son is the true story."
People desperately want a place to honor the victims and connect with their feelings. People so desperately want something there."
To be a bit more objective, if possible, it might do well to look at other memorials of historical events and people - and how people resolved the controveries about the designs. Where better than to start than in Washington, DC?
If you go to the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, you will see a nearby statue of The Three Soldiers, a white, a black and a hispanic serviceman in jungle combat gear. The artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans' Wall was so upset about this addition to her design, she refused to attend the dedication ceremony.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three_Soldiers If you walk south from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, you will see The Vietnam Women's Memorial, dedicated in 1993, showing two military nurses helping a wounded male soldier. http://www.visitingdc.com/memorial/vietnam-women%27s-memorial.htm
In 2001, The federal government put up a large FDR Memorial in Washington with a statue of Roosevelt sitting wearing a huge cape, not unlike Batman, to cover up the truth of his polio and having to use a wheelchair.
Physically challenged people everywhere were very angry at not having an image of the most successful disabled person in American History not being shown in his wheelchair in the Nation's Capitol. They got together and collected private donations to pay for their own smaller memorial statue of Roosevelt in a wheelchair http://www.inetours.com/DC/images/FDR/Wheelchair_1605.jpg and petitioned the government to have it placed just outside the wall of the large Washington, DC, Roosevelt Memorial. Bill Clinton was a smart enough politician to agree with them, approved it, and came to the dedication of the wheelchair statue, which cost $1.6 million.
As The National Organization of Disability stated in 2001 at the wheelchair statue's dedication,
"President Clinton dedicated a new statue of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a wheelchair at the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. on the morning of January 10, 2001. The statue, the first to depict a world leader using a wheelchair, will be located at the entrance to the seven-acre Memorial site in Potomac Park, between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. "This dedication represents a great victory for people with disabilities. FDR's Memorial finally will acknowledge his significant disability experience, which forged his leadership qualities-courage, determination, and compassion-that enabled him to successfully lead the nation through the worst crises of the 20th century," said N.O.D. President Alan Reich. "This magnificent statue will be an inspiration to people worldwide, disabled and non-disabled alike."
In Las Vegas, a spontaneous memorial to those that died on 9/11 in New York City was created by convention visitors - mostly from the West and including police, fire and rescue workers - who wanted to express their grief.
The New York, New York Hotel and Casino has a large above ground pool with polished stone outside walls at street level. Inside the pool is a large model Statue of Liberty and a NYFD fireboat. Visitors to the city placed signs, departmental patches, flowers and other mementoes at the base of the pool. After time, the casino took some of those items and built a set of glass topped recessed into the stone cases to house them as a permanent display.
You can see a photo of this at http://www.nynyhotelcasino.com/heroestribute.aspx It is probably the most sincere thing on The Las Vegas Strip.
Returning to New York City, there is a memorial plaque at ground level in front of the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadow Park. The Museum had previously served as the New York City exhibition hall for the 1939-40 and 1965-66 World's Fairs, as well as being the first New York home of the U.N. General Assembly. The plaque honors an event almost forgotten by the public, the sacrifice of two New York City policemen killed while trying to examine a bomb they had removed from the British Pavilion at the World's Fair on July 4th, 1940.
http://www.newhavenregister.com/articles/2010/07/05/news/metro/doc4... England was already at at war with Germany for almost a year and speculations ran in many directions as to who placed the bomb and telephoned a warning to the authorities. To this date, the case has never been solved.
Detectives Joseph Lynch and Ferdinand Socha died British Exhibition which exploded when Lynch and his partner Socha carried it out of the building to an open area behind the Polish government pavilion and the bomb exploded, leaving Easter Lynch and her four siblings without a father.
Many years later, a memorial of sorts was put up by the City in the form a baseball field dedicated to the fallen policemen in Queens, New York City, the same borough where the Flushing Meadow Park stands. But the park became strewn with garbage and looked awful - and Lynch's daughter, an Irish lady who knew how to handle a scrap, took the City to task, fought and had her dad's name removed from that park. The plaque honoring the two fallen detectives was finally placed in front of what is now the Queens Museum of Art in 1980 after she “raised a little bit of hell.”
The article from the New Haven Register also has a video of Detective Lynch's daughter as well. It is an amazing story and piece of history, showing how bomb squads and insurance for members have evolved since the days when a former pharmacist (Lynch) joined the then-NYPD Bomb and Forgery Squad.
All these stories show that even though many memorials are cast in bronze, both the Federal Government and City Hall have successfully been fought to make the general area of a memorial express the will of many people with a deep emotional connection to the individuals being commemorated in the original designs. It is very possible that people will, once again, fight city hall and win, to have their own created statue(s) commemorating the people and the events of 9/11 rise phoenix-like out of the ashes and stand proudly near the government's version of history. I could see a statue of a group of people - a policeman, a fireman, an EMS worker, a nurse, a construction worker and an office worker - all standing together silently telling the real story of what happened on 9/11. I suspect the next New York City Mayor - or someone who wants to be elected to that office - would be more receptive to the idea, be such a statue placed on public or private land. If American memorial history is any guide, this may yet happen.