Congressman Bill Pascrell plans to introduce legislation today to designate the 9/11 war memorial in Eagle Rock part of the National Park System. “It rises above a regional monument,” Pascrell said, according to the Star Ledger, and Joey D. is all for it too.
“Hundreds of years from now, it won’t be developed,” DiVincenzo said. “It will put us on the historic list throughout the country.”
Maybe so. But the winged memorial to 9/11 has long had its share of local detractors, the latest of whom have mocked it on the front of their new record album.
We feel that aside from being aesthetically grotesque, something akin to a war memorial is an unfit tribute to the thousands of people who were murdered that day, and it is representative of America’s endemic xenophobia, nationalism, and aggressiveness.
The group, called Zephyr Device, is composed of three graduates from Montclair State’s honors program. Billy Gray, guitarist for the “post-punk, indie rock, and maybe rap” group elaborated on Zephyr’s album cover:
The album cover is attempting to make the point that what should be a sober memorial to the dead comes off as a war memorial, and the giant bald eagle that dominates the scene is a traditional symbol of American jingoism and warfare. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC is a humbling and breathtaking memorial because it makes no attempt to glorify what took place; there are no generals on horseback, no men gallantly loading canons, just a black wall recessed into the earth naming the thousands who gave their lives. There was quite a controversy over this, as Maya Ying Lin, the artist behind the wall, refused calls from Washington elites to add various traditional symbols of war (the Three Soldiers statue that was eventually added is quite removed from the wall). What we have at Eagle Rock is the exact opposite, a memorial that attempts to utilize a tragedy to engender the worst in people – jingoism and nationalist hubris. This is a problem that has plagued our country throughout our history. As artists, we felt we had to respond to such a widely-known local symbol of that problem.
The guns in the image – Adam took some photographs of war memorials from the area, and modified the image of the eagle to include the various canons and howitzers that commemorating and glorifying past wars to show the gesture the artist (Patrick Morelli) made when he included the eagle in the memorial. The eagle in the cover is a photograph of the memorial itself.