1200 acres for a memorial?

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  1. Came across your blog because it was referenced in a WaPo article. For reference, you might be interested in the National Park Service 2003 Acreage by Park. It appears that this park would be about middling. Certainly bigger than some national monuments that involve a house or forts and some surrounding land, say, but about the size of a battlefield. Valley Forge is about 2.5 times that.
    I’m assuming that there’s a proposed plan for this and that there’s a rationale for needing 1200 acres. Maybe zoning has something to do with it, or the desire to create some kind of noise buffer. And don’t forget that a plane crash site is not like an automobile wreck and is not merely the area occupied by the fusillage at rest that you might see in aerial view–the plane is going pretty fast (the article says 500 miles/hour) when it slams into the ground, and then it probably slides a fair distance before coming to a stop.
    They probably are also taking into consideration that this could be a relatively well-visited site–it’s very close to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and as a result very accessible to travelers on a major east-west national route. Several years after the OK City bombing my husband and I, passing through from Chicago to Albuquerque, stopped at the memorial to pay our respects. It was a weekday morning, and there must have been at least a couple hundred people in the area. Imagine what it might be like on summer weekends–park planners know they have to accommodate all those visitors without crowding. Visitor’s center, parking lots–space for these things need to be included. Maybe even, if it’s appropriate, a picnic area, which would need to be at a respectful distance from the crash site. (If that sounds odd, think of group tours (full of schoolkids, maybe) that might need a place to stop and have lunch; I spent the first twenty years of my life in Pennsylvania, and Shanksville is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere.) Given those considerations, 1200 acres might actually be pretty reasonable.

  2. Marianna –
    Thanks for helping me with this. I was feeling mean-spirited, and really didn’t like it. (smile…)
    All of what you say has merit. I feel better now.

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