Joanne Hanley, superintendent of the Flight 93 National Memorial, said the design team led by Paul Murdoch Architects followed what the memorial mission statement requested: It honors the plane's passengers and crew and touches very lightly on the land.
''Crescent of Embrace" is the name of the design, not the memorial, and can be changed, she said.
''The name is irrelevant, really," she said. ''There's a lot of misinformation out there and conjecture and hidden meaning that just isn't there." Architect Paul Murdoch was not immediately available for comment yesterday.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called Tancredo's comments ''a cynical political ploy designed to gain national attention," and urged President Bush and other Republican leaders to repudiate them. The Muslim civil liberties group said the crescent has no religious significance in Islam, but is commonly associated with the faith.
Tancredo ''apparently believes he can only gain attention on the national political stage by fabricating a false controversy based on bizarre Internet conspiracy theories," said executive director Nihad Awad. White House spokesman Allen Abney declined to comment. (MORE)