Flight 93 memorial design spat continues

By Jennifer Reeger
Thursday, July 20, 2006


Alec Rawls, 50, an Internet blogger and aspiring author from Palo Alto,
Calif., said he will attend the open house to provide his opinion on the


And while revisions of the design by architect Paul Murdoch have removed
the crescent shape in favor of a tree-lined walkway that envelopes a
roughly circular patch of land at the crash site, Rawls said that's not

"This giant central crescent is still present in the redesign," Rawls
said. "All the redesign is it added some trees."

Rawls calls the design "a huge prayer rug," saying he and others have
mathematically concluded the memorial is facing within 2 degrees of
Mecca, the part of Saudi Arabia where Muslims around the world face to pray.

"There's a tremendous amount of Islamic and jihadist ideas in this
design," Rawls said.

But others disagree with Rawls assessment.

Daniel A. Griffith, a Hempfield Township native and a professor of
geospatial information sciences at the University of Texas-Dallas,
reviewed the arguments on the memorial's orientation towards Mecca
offered by bloggers, including Rawls.

"I am unconvinced that the mathematical arguments put forth by the
bloggers have much merit," Griffith said. "In other words, the
mathematics employed does not bolster a case for a conspiracy, oversight
or insensitivity."