Monday, August 19, 2013

Pentagon Memorial

Back in January I created a DC "to-do" list for 2013 - eight events or places in the city that I wanted to experience before the end of 2013.

We're now 8 1/2 months into the year and I had only crossed one off my list (Embassy Tour Day) and my number of weekends in town doesn't really go up dramatically as the year winds down, so I needed to use this weekend to knock a few more things off the list!

On Saturday afternoon I visited the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.

I drive by the Pentagon often these days, but didn't in 2001 or the years immediately following. Which is likely why I was completely confused about what side the plane hit. I don't know why I always thought it was the east side, the side I commonly pass on when driving into the city on 395. Of course it makes sense, the plane coming in from the west, hit on the west side.

Once I got over that surprise, I was really impressed by the memorial. So much thought went into every detail. I listened to the audio tour, which I recommend if you go, as there aren't many signs explaining things, but the audio tour gives you all of the details you need. You can either download it as an mp3 or call into a phone number to listen.

There is a bench for each of the 184 people who were killed that day at the Pentagon. They are organized in rows, based on the year the person was born and each has their name, and if they were on the plane with family members, the names of their family as well.

The benches alternate in direction, if you are facing the Pentagon when you are reading the name the person died in the building, if your back is to the Pentagon and you are facing the sky, then they were on the plane.

It's beautiful and sad. Peaceful and thought provoking.

And definitely worth seeing in person.

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