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Rendering of the Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon Memorial, located just southwest of The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, is a permanent outdoor memorial to the 184 people killed in the building and on American Airlines Flight 77 in the September 11, 2001 attacks[1] (not counting the hijackers aboard the plane).

Designed by Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman of the architectural firm of Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies,[2] the memorial opened to the public on September 11, 2008.


Early memorials

Preparing to lower the flag at the Pentagon on October 11, 2001

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, an impromptu memorial was set up on a hill at the Navy Annex, overlooking the Pentagon. People came to pay respects and place tributes.[3] One month after the attacks, 25,000 people attended a memorial service at the Pentagon for employees and family members; speakers included President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.[4] Bush remarked, "The wound to this building will not be forgotten, but it will be repaired. Brick by brick, we will quickly rebuild the Pentagon."[5] The American flag that hung on the Pentagon, near the damaged section, was lowered during the service.[6]


America's Heroes Memorial

America's Heroes Memorial

Opened in September 2002 after Pentagon repairs were completed, the America's Heroes Memorial and chapel are located where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building.

The memorial includes a book of photographs and biographies of the victims. It also includes five large black acrylic panels: one displays the Purple Heart medal awarded to military members killed in the attacks, another shows the medal given to civilians, two back wall panels are etched with the victims' names, and a center panel shows tribute statements. The small chapel, located in an adjacent room, has stained glass windows with patriotic-themed designs.

Design and construction

Construction of the outdoor Pentagon Memorial, as of September 2007

The Pentagon Memorial was constructed from a design by Beckman and Kaseman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with design support from Buro Happold, that was chosen following a design competition. To honor the 184 victims, 184 illuminated benches have been arranged according to the victim's ages, from 3 to 71, in a landscaped 1.93-acre (7,800 m2) plot. Each bench is engraved with the name of a victim. The benches representing the victims that were inside the Pentagon are arranged so those reading the names will face the Pentagon's south facade, where the plane hit; benches dedicated to victims aboard the plane are arranged so that those reading the engraved name will be facing skyward along the path the plane traveled.[7] About 85 paperbark maple trees are planted on the memorial grounds.[8]

The Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc. has a goal of raising $32 million. The construction of the memorial is estimated to cost $22 million, with another $10 million set aside in an endowment to provide maintenance of the memorial.[8] As of May 2007, $13.8 million had been raised for construction of the memorial.[9] Donations include $250,000 from American Forests towards planting trees at the memorial,[10] and $1 million from the government of Taiwan.[11]

Construction began on June 15, 2006.[12] By November 2006, site excavation, re-routing of existing utility lines had been completed, and water lines laid for the fountain pools.[13] By May 2007, the foundation of the perimeter wall was built and concrete pilings poured for each bench.[9]

Dedication ceremony

The first inscribed memorial unit unveiled at the dedication ceremony on September 11, 2008

The Memorial was dedicated and opened to the public on September 11, 2008.[14] President George W. Bush called the memorial "an everlasting tribute to the 184 souls who perished." Over 20,000 people attended the dedication ceremony, including past Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen, and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.[15] It was opened to the public at 7 p.m. in a separate ceremony with a music performance by the Navy Band and the Sea Chanters Chorus.


The Memorial is open 7 days a week year-round.

The National Park Service anticipates the memorial will attract more than 2 million visitors per year.

The memorial is protected by the United States Pentagon Police.

Anniversary events

Pentagon Memorial at night, with the United States Air Force Memorial in the background

To commemorate the anniversary each year, an American flag is hung on the section of the Pentagon hit by Flight 77. At night, this section of the building is lit up in blue lights. For the fifth anniversary, a "Tribute of Lights" display included 184 beams of light from the center courtyard shining into the sky.

Anniversary events also include the America Supports You National Freedom Walk, which has been held on Sundays. The walk starts at the Lincoln Memorial and ends at the Pentagon.[16] The Arlington Police/Fire/Sheriff 5K Race is held on Saturdays, around the anniversary, with the course going through part of Crystal City and through the Pentagon grounds.

Memorial services are held on the anniversary of 9/11 at the Pentagon, with one service in an auditorium at the Pentagon for employees. A smaller service is held at the memorial site for family and friends of victims killed at the Pentagon on 9/11.


Other 9/11 memorials

Pentagon September 11 Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.


  1. ^ "Pentagon Memorial Project Schedule". Pentagon Renovation Program. Retrieved 2006-10-12.  
  2. ^ Miroff, Nick (2008-09-11). ""Creating a Place Like No Other"". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved 2008-09-11.  
  3. ^ "Mourners memorial rises near Pentagon". The Washington Times. September 19, 2001.  
  4. ^ "Bush says that from 'sorrow has come great resolve'". The Washington Times. October 12, 2001.  
  5. ^ Garamone, Jim (October 11, 2001). "Memorial Service Honors Pentagon Victims". American Forces Press Service.  
  6. ^ Garamone, Jim (October 11, 2001). "Flag at Pentagon Attack Site Lowered, Preserved". American Forces Press Service.  
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Dwyer, Timothy (June 6, 2006). "Groundbreaking For 9/11 Memorial at Pentagon". The Washington Post.  
  9. ^ a b Dwyer, Timothy (May 26, 2007). "Pentagon Memorial Progress Is Step Forward for Families". The Washington Post.  
  10. ^ Killian, Erin (September 7, 2007). "Forestry group donates $250,000 to Pentagon memorial". Washington Business Journal.  
  11. ^ "Joseph Wu visits Pentagon Memorial construction site". Taipei Times. September 9, 2007.  
  12. ^ "Ground Broken for Pentagon 9-11 Memorial". Pentagon Memorial Fund. June 15, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-12.  
  13. ^ "Construction Update". Pentagon Memorial Fund. November 13, 2006.  
  14. ^ Wilgoren, Debbie; Nick Miroff, Robin Shulman (2008-09-11). ""Pentagon Memorial Dedicated on 7th Anniversary of Attacks"". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved 2008-09-11.  
  15. ^ Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  16. ^ "About the DC Walk". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-13.  
  17. ^ Garamone, Jim. "Remains of Pentagon Attack Victims Buried at Arlington". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 2007-09-13.  

External links

Coordinates: 38°52′15.4″N 77°3′31.3″W / 38.870944°N 77.058694°W / 38.870944; -77.058694


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