Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Pentagon Memorial

On my most recent trip to Washington DC, I had the opportunity to visit the National September 11th Pentagon Memorial, and realizing I had never spoken of it, September 11th, eleven years later is appropriate.

On September 11, 2001, terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. The force of the collision pushed the plane into the 3rd ring of the largest office building in the world and headquarters of the US Military. The fireball went sky high, and the rising smoke was able to be seen throughout the Washington DC Metro Area.

Since that day, the Pentagon was rebuilt, security was tightened, the Metro entrance sealed off and pictures of the building banned. Seven years after, the Pentagon Memorial opened. Located in the area where Flight 77 flew over before flying into the Pentagon, the memorial honors each person who died, either aboard Flight 77 or in the Pentagon. The 184 illuminated memorial benches are organized by the victims' birth year and are pointed toward the Pentagon (if they were in the Pentagon when they died) or pointed toward the sky (if they were aboard Flight 77 when they died). These benches are located in a grove of Cape Myrtle trees to give it a secluded atmosphere; away from the Pentagon parking lot and I-395, running in view. Also noteworthy is one charred brick installed on the rebuilt facade where Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.

The design element is beautiful and the "walk among heroes," from the Metro to the Memorial, depending on how many are heading in and out of the building, can be awe-inspiring. The National September 11th Pentagon Memorial is well worth the visit if you find yourself visiting Washington DC.

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