Thursday, June 07, 2007

9/11: The Ultimate Excuse for Whining

I should know better than to flip on the news at 4 in the morning before I've even had a cup of coffee.

First thing I see is one Mr. Ed Root, president of the Families of Flight 93 whining because a landowner doesn't want to give away 273 acres of his land to the National Park Service to build a memorial.

I'm truly sorry that innocent people died on that flight and I'm sorry for the pain that has caused their friends and families but I have to tell you: innocent people die every single day and we do not confiscate private property from people in order to build them shrines. Mr. Root you can count yourself darned lucky it's Mr. Svonavec's land you're after and not mine because if someone died on mine I'd probably allow the families to visit if they wished but I'd be highly unlikely to sell my land for a public memorial because I consider enshrining a piece of ground an idiotic and wasteful use of land. Mr. Svonavec is willing to sell at a reasonable price, for a purpose as silly as that I'd only sell at a ridiculous price if I were willing to sell at all.

Offer to build 273 homes for families who don't have a prayer of ever owning a square foot of their own as a tribute to your fallen and I'd sell it to you, dirt cheap. Don't ask me to kiss your butts for a shiny monument to feed our national obsession for maudlin sentimentality.

Root claims the families offered Svonavec more than $2,000 an acre for his 273 acres. The group argues that $1,000 to $2,000 an acre is fair market value for the properties in the area.

So far, 60 acres of the 1,300 planned for the memorial have been purchased.

Root said Svonavec rejected the offer, which would amount to more than $546,000, and said he wanted to deal directly with the National Park Service, which is in charge of building the permanent memorial.

"He's holding this project and the American people hostage," said Root, whose cousin, Lorraine Bay, was a flight attendant on Flight 93.

Svonavec said he has maintained from the beginning that he would only negotiate a sale with the park service. He said he is awaiting that offer.

No he is not "holding the American people hostage". You are trying to hold him hostage. It's his land, he can jolly well tell you to jump off a cliff if it suits him. Why on earth would he want to try and negotiate any sort of deal with a whiny windbag like you. You'd probably turn right around and look for some reason to sue him as soon as the deal was closed.

A donation box placed at the Flight 93 Temporary Memorial in Somerset County has revealed a major battle brewing over land that one victim's family member calls the "soul" of the permanent memorial planned to honor those aboard the flight.

Family members said the metal donation box, installed by property owner Mike Svonavec, degrades the memory of their 40 loved ones, who died when hijackers took over the plane on Sept. 11, 2001.

Before Sept. 11, 2001, Svonavec leased the land for surface mining. Since that time, mining operations ceased, and Svonavec claims he's had financial losses amounting to $200,000.

He said he decided to place the donation box at the site on Saturday because his company has been paying $10,000 a month for security since February, when $1 million in federal funding that paid for sheriff's deputies to monitor the crash site ended.

There you go, he's been paying $10,000 a month for security out of his own pocket. I'd just have everyone arrested for trespassing and have done with it. Count yourselves lucky it's him you're dealing with.

If building a billion dollar white elephant on 10,000 acres of land is the only way you can think of to honor your dead then I pity you. I wouldn't pay 1 cent to build anything in remembrance of an act committed by a handful of psychopaths. For certain I do not think you have the right to foist your wishes on a property owner unlucky enough to find himself in the center of all of this.

Grow up Mr. Root. Your relative dying in a terrible act did not suddenly entitle you to trample over the rights of other citizens and building a shrine will not bring them back nor will it do anything to improve the lives of those still living on this earth. For my money I'm more interested in improving life for those still among us than in building temples for the dead.

NY Times


Anonymous said...

I watched that interview this morning, also. Funny, I had the same sort of thoughts you have posted. If I owned that land, I'd tell folks that it's not for sale and that's that. How morbid and maudlin it is to have to have a permanent memorial there.

My cousin was murdered in Las Vegas and thrown into a garbage dumpster. I wonder if I could demand that a memorial be set up in the city landfill for her...


Not Your Mama said...

I'm not sure I have any words for that. I'm so sorry.

Maybe she won't get a memorial but I'll think of this every time I have to go into Vegas or hear about another murder there. I really am sorry.

TomCat said...

How about a memorial for each of the 650,000+ Iraqis killed in Bush's war for oil and conquest?

While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, no group of victims has ever been so richly compensated. These people are now millionaires. As much as I feel for their loss, they cannot expect America to jump to their every whim. Svonavec has a right to manage keep or sell his own property as he sees fit.

Omnipotent Poobah said...

They already have 60 acres, how big is the memorial anyway?

pekka said...

You will not hear any sounds of disagreement from me, Mama mia. There are so many self righteous demands put on our collective backs by so many these days. It's tarting to feel like some sort of an out of hand growth industry that nobody is neither willing nor able to stop because of the sensitivities involved. I understand that grief can alter one's behavior but the rest of us just have to, at some point, be able to say gently and firmly - no, enough already!

Not Your Mama said...

Roughly 2,000 acres at an estimated cost of $58 million dollars.

For 58 million I want something more productive than a few plaques and visitor parking.

I've made my wishes clear, when I die I want to be cremated, no service, and no keeping my damned ashes on the mantel. Preferably I'd like to be added to compost.

RJ Adams said...

Goodness! You're growing as curmudgeonly as me. Well done, though. These things need saying. How long are they going to drag out 9/11 before we all grow heartily sick of it? I agree with cremation, too. Have yourself bagged and I'll happily purchase a couple for around my roses.

Not Your Mama said...

RJ: you're on ;). I hope you have at least a few antique varieties.

Pekka: I know so many people who have lost loved ones to violence.

There are large segments of our society where nearly every single person has lost a close family member to violence and nothing is done and no one outside of their families even cares.

Why on earth would I feel any sympathy for this clown Root and his group when people are buying life insurance on their babies before they're even all the way out of the birth canal, knowing full well their baby has only about a 50/50 shot of surviving to adulthood.

Woozie said...

It's funny they claim he's holding America hostage, when he's doing exactly what any American would do-trying to make money; that's how capitalism works. This ain't Soviet Union, Comrade Root.

Although I think it's more of a monument to the people that took the plane back from the hijackers, and less of a monument specifically in rememberance of a handful of psychos.

United We Lay said...

Not only that, but it's probable that the plane was SHOT down, not crashed as the debris is scattered so far.

TomCat said...

That's a good point, United. I almost blogged that story, but the source I found was not overly reliable, and I could not find confirmation.

Woozie said...

Could you blame the USAF if the plane was shot down? Ultimately it would have saved more lives than it killed.

After the second plane hit (to ensure it was an attack and not an accident) all flights should have been grounded and those refusing to comply (AA Flight 77) should have been shot down. Yes Bush would have caught shit for it but you can't say it wouldn't have been the responsible thing to do.

ryk said...

Okay wooz. I work in the air traffic control arena and the fact is that all flights were grounded. It took about an hour and a half to put over 4,000 planes on the ground nation-wide. It was actually pretty impressive to see it happen.

Vigilante said...

9-11 is the main reason why we should,

TomCat said...

Woozie, it has been a matter of policy since the JFK administration to escort possible hijacked planes (ones that deviate significantly from their planned flight paths, without making contact) in US airspace with fighters, and to shoot them down, upon presidential order, if they became a threat to major metropolitan areas. On 9/11 there were four possibles, but their fighter escorts were ordered to stand down. Who it was that gave the order remains classified.

Anonymous said...

very well said. I would also tell them to take a hike. They do not need 2,200(the lasted count)acres for a memorial. The plane crashed on 3 acres, and from what I understand, the owner has donated that land. That obviously wasn't good enough, and now the families want to take over half the city.

They are ridiculous in their demands and need to get some perspective. They had better be grateful that I didn't own the land either. I wouldn't allow them to bully me into selling. That is what this whole thing is, intimidation adn bullying.

The memorial at the Pentagon is only 1.93 acres, and a lot more people died there.

I have never heard of such stupidity.