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Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2015

Dave!And so today a sculpture titled The Spirit of America... a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks... was commemorated in my tiny home city of Cashmere, Washington.

And I cannot find the words to express how much I hate it.

And given that "hate" is a word that I try to avoid using when at all possible, you can probably guess just how serious I am about the situation here.

From what I understand, the sculpture was originally going to be placed in our State capitol of Olympia, but the city rejected it. Then it was going to Kirkland... then Issaquah... but they both rejected to it as well. For reasons I can't even hope to comprehend, my city said "Okay! We'll take it!" and now here we are...

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

The four people depicted in the sculpture... a fireman, a flight attendant, an office worker and a military guy... are smooth and realistically rendered on their top half. But then, as you pan downward, they char and blacken as if being consumed by flames...

Cashmere Washington 9/11 Memorial The Spirit of America

What the hell?

Seriously, what the hell?

I would hardly call this a "tribute"... it feels more like a grotesque mockery of those victims who lost their lives. With that in mind, I find it detestable and disgusting, and am horrified that it's now a permanent fixture in my home town. Even putting all that aside, could there BE a place that's least affected by the events of 9/11 than a tiny city all the way across the country? I mean, obviously all Americans are affected by 9/11, I would never debate that... but having a monument here feels entirely disrespectful to those who actually lived through 9/11 half-a-world away. Is a Pearl Harbor memorial next?

Now, before people jump all over me for "misinterpreting the art" or start calling me "unAmerican," let me just state for the record that I am sure the artist's intention were good and noble. I have no doubt whatsoever that his heart was in the right place. But I am absolutely certain that I am not the only one who will "misinterpret" the piece as people being burnt in terrorist effigy. To be completely honest, I don't know how else to interpret it. And for that reason I'm pretty broken up over this case of good intentions gone horribly wrong being just minutes from where I live and work.

Outside of actually being at Ground Zero, where a 9/11 memorial is entirely appropriate, it seems the proper way to pay tribute to those who lost their live is to remember them in our heads and hearts.

Whereas here people were thinking with their hearts... but seem to have left their heads behind.

Categories: DaveLife 2015Click To It: Permalink


  1. J.P. says:

    That is some ugly art. And you’re right, just looking at the pictures before reading your entry I wondered why they looked half burned. Very odd.

  2. TheQueen says:

    i see them resurrecting, rising out of the ashes. What’s wrong with that?

    • Daver says:

      Good for you. I don’t see any ash that they’re rising from, so my interpretation is different. As I said, it looks like they are turning to ash, and there’s a lot wrong with that.

  3. martymankins says:

    I’m in full agreement with you on this. One, the part you bring up with why a 9/11 monument no where near any of the sites that were attacked.

    The artist interpretation is evident, but poorly executed IMO.

  4. Steve in NH says:

    I agree with you completely. The sculpture is horrible and also has no place there. I just finished complaining to a friend about the same thing here in Portsmouth. City fathers supposedly stuggled for years to procure a charred Ibeam from the 9-11 site in NY. They have now permanantly installed it in front of the downtown firehouse in Portsmouth. I always object when memorials are erected in places far removed from where the event happened. But Americans are such maudlin sheep that they lap it up I guess and call me a dink.

  5. hello haha narf says:

    i saw them rising from the ash.
    still not a huge fan of the piece, but i absolutely don’t see them turning to ash.

    • Mary says:

      I see what you mean but I kind of saw what “Narf” wrote, I see then rising from the ash. But the presentation could have been a little more clear or in that positive direction.

  6. I see them burning as well, and not rising from the ash. Definitely not a good implementation. And it’s probably just me, but does the sign support in the middle look like it’s growing out of a cross?

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