Does the Desert Storm War Memorial resemble an Islamic crescent?

A concerned, disabled Gulf War veteran sent us this information with the following comment:

The ‘design of the memorial’ gives me a sense of significant grief. The fact that it is being made with Kuwaiti sandstone and possibly another Mecca-on-the-sly-tribute — makes me feel sick.

Source: First Public Memorial Renderings – National Desert Storm War Memorial

The design illustrations shown on this website for the National Desert Storm Veterans War Memorial are the result of a 20-month collaborative effort between the National Desert Storm War Memorial Board of Directors (NDSWMBD), numerous veterans of the war, CSO Architects, Inc., Context Landscape Architecture, and other citizen contributors who were affected by the war.

The Design

The goal of the memorial’s design is to create an educational, meaningful and deeply moving sequential experience for visitors that: 1) educates them about the historical events of the war; 2) identifies each of the coalition countries and illustrates the historical significance of the 34-nation coalition that was united to liberate Kuwait; 3) memorializes all the names of those Americans who sacrificed their lives in the war; 4) reflects the unique environmental and battle conditions experienced by our servicemen and women in this war; 5) leaves visitors with an enduring memory of the historical significance and moral accomplishments of the Desert Storm War.

Toward this end, the National Desert Storm Veterans War Memorial has been designed as an elegantly curved, massive, Kuwaiti limestone wall, which both encloses and envelopes a sacred, somber, inner memorial space. The curved wall serves many functional and symbolic purposes: first, it shields visitors and the “memorial experience” both visually and acoustically from the noisy, urban surroundings of downtown Washington, DC; second, the massive stone wall and the floor of the memorial is of earth-toned limestone, which would recall in form and color the sands of the Kuwaiti desert; and third, the curved wall, which sweeps an arc in the north and east direction, recalls the “left hook” maneuver that helped to bring the war to a timely conclusion and to minimize the loss of life in Coalition Forces. Upon entering the confine of the Memorial Wall, visitors follow a 150 foot long continuous bas-relief, which is carved into the interior surface of the Wall. It displays the flags and the fallen from each of the 34 nations in the coalition, the Desert Storm Campaign Ribbons, and it would depict the continuous historical chronology of the war’s events. The carving describes in pictographic, sculptural form all of the main historical events leading up to and including the war, as well as the lasting after effects of the war on our veterans. Then, as visitors continue past the war chronology bas-relief, they would reach the “inner sanctum” of the memorial: the portion of the Memorial Wall on which the names of the 383 U.S. servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in the conflict would be engraved. Beneath the heading, “Here We Mark the Price of Freedom,” each of their names would be engraved within reach so that visitors could easily view, touch, photograph or create etchings of the names of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and women who lost their lives in the service of our country. After visitors have viewed the engraved names of the fallen, they might turn to view the statue of soldiers, which at this point is directly behind them. The bronze statues are startlingly lifelike renditions of 5 U.S. servicemen and women who are wearing gas masks and chemical warfare protective gear. The solid bronze statues are not elevated on a plinth, but are on the same level with visitors so that they may experience the statues more intimately, almost as though they are there in person. After this series of impactful experiences has been completed, and upon exiting the Memorial, visitors would encounter a healing quotation.

What is the healing quotation?

Recall the Flight 93 Memorial is a massive outdoor mosque in the shape of an Islamic crescent pointing to Mecca.

Is it a coincidence that some see a resemblance to the Islamic crescent and star in this “left hook” memorial design?

Send your Comments/Questions to the NDSWM team.






7 thoughts on “Does the Desert Storm War Memorial resemble an Islamic crescent?

  1. I think we should take the explanation for the design at face value and not read into it. Check out images of the crescent online. You’ll see that it is not similar to this shape. We don’t say a C looks like a J. The crescent looks like a C. The memorial looks like a J. Even if you turn the memorial symbol around, it still doesn’t look much like a C. You have to stretch your imagination to see it that way. Don’t stretch.

  2. As far as memorials go, this one seems to be fitting. Kuwait gave money for the first set of Medals and had a bunch made with gold to thank us for Liberating them from Saddam’s army. Having them give sandstone for this only seems like they still remember they are free because of us. Not all of the countries over there hate us.
    Agree with LouRich. No need to stretch meaning into something that may not be there.

    • I was in the AF, stationed at Aviano AB, during the war. I didn’t deploy from there, but I did see people off. It was a tense time. Thanks for the supporting thoughts on this subject.

  3. The memorial resembles the Desert Strom ground war battle plans, or, as it’s better known, “the Left Hook”. Swinging from the left, encircling the Iraqi troops, cutting them off from supplies and support. Please educate yourselves, the memorials design directly reflects the path of the ground troops.

    If the one tweeted this was in fact a Gulf War Veterans and spent time more worried about fact checking instead of adding ” 2 plus chair equals potato”, then he might not fire off tweets based on half baked ideas. I sense his racism is clouding his better judgement..

  4. As an artist, and COUNTER Jihadi, it doesn’t resemble the Islamic Crescent. And that Star is missing too. I can however, see how some who have been traumatised by Islam and war, may view it as such.

    God bless our Veterans!

    • Agreed. That makes me pretty uncomfortable too. Why did they choose limestone from there, when we could have found the same desert limestone looking rock from Eastern Oregon.

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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