This morning we paid tribute to some of the victims of the 9/11 attacks by visiting the Pentagon Memorial.
184 people died at this site on the morning of September 11th, 2001. Some were aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and some were working in the Pentagon. The Memorial, which is located where the crash took place, was designed by Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman of Kaseman Beckman Advanced Strategies and opened September 11, 2008.
To honor the victims, 184 benches rise from the ground with small, lighted reflecting pools below. They are arranged from the youngest victim first, Dana Falkenberg (age 3) to the oldest victim, John Yamnicky Sr. (age 71). Each name is engraved on the bench, and the benches representing those inside the building are situated so that if you are reading the name you are facing the Pentagon. The benches representing those aboard the plane are arranged so that if you are reading the name you are facing skyward, tracing the path of the plane.
Visiting the site, I was struck by the sheer breadth of benches. 184 is just a number until you see it all laid out in front of you. And this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of those affected by the tragedies of that day. The memorial is a very touching tribute. It is a serene spot of reflection, with just enough noise from the crunching gravel beneath your feet, planes overhead going to and from National Airport, and just enough tactility amid the benches and their reflecting pools beneath to make you stop and consider those that have gone before you.
On this 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, I hope you will be remembering your fellow Americans.