Monday, May 18, 2009

Governmental abuse

Stupid, harmful actions by government entities have become so commonplace that it's difficult for these official misdeeds to stand out from their peers, but the National Park Service is certainly doing its best. The agency has decided that it needs to immediately take the land of seven property owners in the area of the proposed Flight 93 memorial so that the shrine can be completed by the time of the 10th anniversary of the plane crash in 2011. Anytime the government is involved in a project, you can pretty much count on it being overdone at a ridiculous price. Here's an excerpt from a recent AP story:

The seven property owners own about 500 acres still needed for what will ultimately be a $58 million, 2,200-acre permanent memorial and national park at the crash site near Shanksville, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

The word in that paragraph that jumped out at me was "needed." Needed? Do we really need to spend $58 million and consume 2,200 acres - almost a quarter of it seized from people who don't want to be uprooted - in order to commemorate the heroism of the Flight 93 passengers? Wouldn't a single building on a five-acre plot be sufficient? And how many people - outside of family and friends - really want to go look at the site where dozens of people plowed into the earth on an airplane? I really don't see too many parents packing the kids into the Winnebago for a trip to Shanksville. Honestly, I have zero interest in going. The heroism of those aboard that flight was appreciated and should be honored, but the Park Service has gone way beyond an appropriate commemoration, and the seizure of private property for this overblown memorial is shameful.



Blogger PRIguy said...

I was all set to launch into a tirade, but you said it all, Brant.

May 18, 2009 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Mike Jones said...

Brant, there's something beautiful in the simplicity of the current memorial. A 40-foot fence allows visitors to place personal items as a sign of respect. Flags, hats, stickers and toys are left on that fence, left for the rest of us to view.

The site is amazingly quiet, too. The only noise is the wind whipping over the hill and the crunching of gravel in the nearby parking lot. It is already a place for reflection and remembrance. What more is needed to honor those people on Flight 93?

May 18, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

An excellent point. Spending $58 million and gobbling up 2,200 acres doesn't necessarily make it a better memorial.

May 18, 2009 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Richard Dirt said...

two words:

no. duh.

May 19, 2009 at 3:59 AM  

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