State Capitol News
1:30 am
Thu April 3, 2008

House changes state's 9-11 memorial

Phoenix, AZ – The House voted Wednesday to strip 12 phrases from the state's memorial of the 9-11 attacks. Arizona Public Radio's Howard
Fischer explains the controvesy.


The ring-shaped memorial across from the Capitol has 54 phrases
etched into it. The commission that designed it and raised
private funds sought to recall a variety of incidents and
sentiments both leading up to and following the terrorist
attacks. The panel has since voted to remove two phrases some
found offensive. But Rep. John Kavanagh said that's not enough.

(What we're down now to are 12, one of which is in error, the
others are either politically charged or they paint an
excessively negative picture of the state of Arizona.)

Among the statements his legislation would remove are ``You don't
win battles of terrorism with more battles,'' ``Foreign-born
Americans afraid'' and a reference to a 2002 congressional
hearing about why the FBI and CIA did not prevent the attacks.
But Rep. Steve Farley complained it also removes references to
two members of Arizona's Sikh community killed in the wake of the
attacks.

(They were killed by people thinking that they were Arabs, and
they wanted revenge. Those people, and the Sikh community, found
it very important that they would be honored in this memorial as
part of the events of that time.)

Farley found himself in the minority as the House voted 32-26 to
approve the changes. The measure now goes to the Senate.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.