September 9, 2016

A Solemn Visit to the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

What a moving experience to see the Pentagon's 9/11 Memorial.
It felt right to pay my respects to those who lost their lives that day and 
to honor those first responders who acted to save the lives of many others.
Fifteen years ago. September 11, 2001.
We all remember where we were that day.

This list of too many names of those who died that day
is arranged according to their birth years, as is the Memorial's design.

A peaceful reverence.

The "gateway" of the Memorial notes the date, as well as the time of the attack.

Here's a photo of a "Memorial Unit," one for each victim.
It's a cantilevered bench with granite on the top.
Underneath is a rectangular pool of rippling water that is lit at night.

The benches are situated in parallel lines along the flight path of the plane.
They are arranged in order of the victims' birth years.

The first bench is for 3 year old Dana Falkenberg, who was aboard Flight 77.
Each name is engraved on the side edge of the bench.

If other family members perished, as was the case with Dana's family, 
their names are engraved on a ledge of the water feature.

Stainless steel strips in the ground lead to the side walls
where plaques with the corresponding birth years are located.

Notice that some benches are facing in opposite directions.
When reading a name, if you look up and see the Pentagon,
that person was among the 125 victims in the Pentagon. 
If you look up and see the sky in the other direction, 
that person was among the 59 victims aboard Flight 77.

Looking outward opposite the Pentagon, the US Air Force Memorial is in the distance.

Two reasons for this photo:
The foreground shows the ornamental grasses that line the fencing.
In the background we see evidence of the Pentagon's rebuild:
The new, lighter limestone on the left contrasts the darker on the right.
It was taken from the same quarry as the original.

85 white crape myrtles are planted throughout the Memorial.
In time, they'll reach a potential height of 30',
providing a pleasant canopy of shade over the benches.

 The last bench of the Memorial is for John Yamnicky, 
who was born in 1930, and died at age 73 on 9/11/01.

The names of those 184 souls who lost their lives...

Learn much more at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website.

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