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Munsil: 9/11 memorial should be torn down, rebuilt

Republican gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil stands with the families of Arizona soldiers who died in Iraq and expresses his outrage at the 9/11 memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza that he says fails to properly honor those who died. (Photo by Bill Coates)

Saying the recently unveiled 9/11 memorial in Wesley Bolin Plaza is an “insult” to the memory of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks and the resulting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Republican gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil called on Governor Napolitano to tear it down.
“If you care about America’s standing in the world, tear down this monument,” he said. “And if you won’t do it, I will. As governor, I will raise the money to put up a real monument to the victims of 9/11…”
Since the memorial was dedicated two weeks ago on the five-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks, several conservative weblogs have posted photographs of several inscriptions engraved into the monument, along with complaints the memorial contains political messages about the attacks and the ongoing war on terror.
“This monument is the equivalent of a Pearl Harbor memorial that focused on Japanese internment camps,” Mr. Munsil said.
He held a press conference at the memorial this morning and was joined by the families of several Arizona soldiers who died in Iraq. Glen Smith, whose son, LCpl. Jason Smith, died in Iraq in 2004, told the gathered crowd he was offended by the monument.
“Where are the victims of 9/11 written anywhere on there?” he said. “This looked more like a political statement than [about] the victims of 9/11.”
Mr. Munsil said, if he is elected governor in the November election, he would build a new memorial that would contain phrases to properly honor those who died in the attacks and that would reflect the galvanizing effect they had on the nation.
Ms. Napolitano’s campaign spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer said the memorial was created with great input from 9/11 survivors and family members of those killed in the attacks.
“The memorial was paid for with contributions from private corporations and individuals, with no taxpayer dollars involved,” Ms. L’Ecuyer said in a press release. “The governor did assist in fundraising. The governor did not have editorial control over the content of the memorial.”

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