9/11: 10 years later at Pentagon Memorial

It has been 10 years since our world changed.

The planes hit the World Trade Towers in New York. Everyone remembers that. But they also hit the Pentagon and its memorial sometimes seems forgotten.

I take tour groups regularly to the 9/11 Memorial. It’s a long walk and really hot in the summer, but no one ever complains. And no one ever leaves unimpressed.

It’s a very smartly-done memorial. Instead of a big slab of marble, there are 184 benches remembering each of the 59 people on the plane and 125 that died in the Pentagon. You can easily tell who was on the plane or building. Look at the name on the end of the bench. If you look up and see sky, they were on the plane. If you look up and see the building, there were inside the Pentagon. Simple, but brilliant. The benches are in rows by the birth year of those in the lane. Youngest are the children who are closest to the entrance.

In time, the trees will provide more of a shade canopy for the site that is a real heat island in the summer. And maybe Pentagon officials will rework the busses so they can come close to the memorial instead of forcing long walks. Really, if they’re so concerned over security — and they really are so no taking photos of the building — then the busses should come right to the memorial so people are walking just a short distance instead of across the parking lot.

I tell the tourists that locals don’t come to the memorial much. Indeed, it’s rarely more than one or two groups simultaneously. Between the emotion of the event that’s still raw to Washingtonians and its hard-to-reach location, the site is under-visited.

Consider visiting the site sometime soon. Park over at the Pentagon City mall or take the metro there and walk 10 minutes to the site. It’s worth the effort.

About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
This entry was posted in Memorials and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.