Wednesday, June 25, 2003

THE OTHER 9/11 MEMORIAL -- While the World Trade Center memorial has gotten all the attention, Pentagon planners have quietly been going forward with plans for their own memorial for those who died that day in northern Virginia. It is called "Light Benches" and 'the design is composed of 184 16-foot-long benches, arranged in parallel rows under clusters of maple trees on the nearly two-acre site. Both the organization and number of the benches ties the memorial to that specific day -- the rows are angled toward the Pentagon's west facade precisely on the path taken by the attackers, and 184, of course, is the number of deceased victims.

'This identification of site and event is further intensified by linking each bench with an individual victim, whose name is to be incised on the narrow end face of a bench.'

The architechts eschewed a traditional look for the benches, instead opting for a design that makes them look, as The Post wrote, like diving boards. Appropriate, I suppose, since there will be a narrow band of water beneath each bench. Fortunately, the designers incorporated a great number of trees into the memorial, thus not permitting the odd-shaped benches (which I like) to completely dominate the site.

Making the entire memorial even more interesting is that a halogen lamp will be built into each lamp, giving the site an eerie and almost otherworldly glow, I suspect. It should be impressive in daylight and even more striking after nightfall.

It should be open by 9/11/04. I look forward to my first trip to the memorial and I shall definitely be bringing my cameras with me.
'DOCTOR' McLAUGHLIN's TV TANTRUM -- Right wing tele-screamer and former fallen priest John McLaughlin has been harshly critical of D.C. government the last few days, even suggesting, outrageously, that home rule be rescinded. 'Immediately after the blizzard, city officials didn't grant the TV host preferential treatment when minions for "Dr. McLaughlin," as they refer to their boss, repeatedly phoned and demanded that a snowplow be deployed to McLaughlin's residential street in the pricey Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood.'

'"Is Dr. McLaughlin a medical doctor? If so, we might have dug him out for a medical emergency," (city spokesman Tony) Bullock said sarcastically. He added that "One on One" producer Matthew Faraci -- whom he derided as "McLaughlin's chief twit" -- kept phoning city officials "to dig out the good doctor's driveway." Faraci told us he phoned once or twice. But Bullock continued: "Dr. McLaughlin jumped up and down to have special accommodations for him at a time when we were transporting the police officers and medical personnel for people who needed emergency attention.'

Not even 'Dr' McLaughlin's co-workers were buying On "The McLaughlin Group," panelists Tony Blankley and Eleanor Clift answered the host's blasts with a stout defense of the District's snow-removal performance. And panelist Pat Buchanan noted, "John, what I conclude is that they did not dig you out until Friday, is that correct?"