The Monument They Deserve

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

The Monument They Deserve describes one potential 9/11 monument I could endorse:

Stoddart envisions two bronze figures, personifying the muses of memory and history, atop two massive stone plinths that evoke the vanished Twin Towers. Each of the thrice-life-size figures — little sisters (as Stoddart calls them) of the nation’s and the city’s greatest and most iconic sculpture, the Statue of Liberty — holds out one of Liberty’s attributes: Memory holds up her torch, and History holds out her tablet to catch the light the torch sheds. Between the bases of the two figures, directly below the torch, lies a heavily draped bronze catafalque, the only grave many of the dead will have.

In case you don’t use terms like plinth and catafalque everyday, here are some definitions from Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: plinth
Pronunciation: ‘plin(t)th
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos
Date: 1601
1 a : the lowest member of a base : SUBBASE b : a block upon which the moldings of an architrave or trim are stopped at the bottom
2 : a usually square block serving as a base; broadly : any of various bases or lower parts
3 : a course of stones forming a continuous foundation or base course

Main Entry: cat?a?falque
Pronunciation: ‘ka-t&-”fo(l)k, -”falk
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian catafalco, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin catafalicum scaffold, from cata- + Latin fala siege tower
Date: 1641
1 : an ornamental structure sometimes used in funerals for the lying in state of the body
2 : a pall-covered coffin-shaped structure used at requiem masses celebrated after burial

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