Where's the Beef?

9-11 MemorialHere you go — the finalist for the 9/11 memorial on the site of the former Twin Towers:

Created by city designer Michael Arad, “Reflecting Absence” took perhaps the simplest and most minimal approach of the eight design finalists, chosen from more than 5,200 submissions. Arad, an Israeli native who works for the New York City housing authority and had previously designed two police precinct houses, would situate his reflecting pools 30 feet below street level, in a large, open plaza. The pools would be fed by water cascading down the walls that enclose them.

If I had to pick one word to describe the design, it would be “underwhelming.”

Or maybe “pretty.” Or “nice.”

For something like 9/11, however, shouldn’t we expect something majestic, heartbreaking, or stirring — or, preferably, all of the above?

Maybe the small picture doesn’t capture the sheer size of the old buildling’s footprints, now covered in water. Maybe the gray colors of the mock-up sap any life it has. Or maybe Arad is just a government drone who usually designs police buildings.

Whatever, those who were KIA that day deserve better.

UPDATE: Michele — who I should have gone to first — has more to add.