seven years later and i’m standing out front of the Pentagon again. this time i don’t see a gaping hole in the south side of the Pentagon, but instead see our flag flying in the wind. after all these years, we now have a memorial created for our people to come and pay respects to those lost.
i showed up later in the evening after most of the crowds had disbursed. there were still alot of people out and about. they had most people parking over at the mall and walking over through the tunnel. after you get out of the tunnel and approach, this is the first thing that you saw – scores of American flags.
rows and rows of flags – watching them in the wind was pretty mesmerizing.
there were bleachers set up for the event and we trucked up there. from the top, you could see just how many flags there were – a lot. and it was beautiful.
the orchestra was still playing when we got there. we were fortunate enough to catch a couple of the final songs.
from the top of the bleachers, more of our flags lined the top row.
finally made our way over to the Memorial itself. as you approach, you see the date and time embedded in the ground. not the greatest photo here, but it does illustrate what I’m talking about.
not super crowded, but there was still a good handful of folks out.
each bench is engraved with a name of a person who was lost in the tradgedy. gentle lighting and flowing water highlights the bench from beneath.
if you’re wondering why some benches face one way and not the other, there is logic behind it. the benches facing the Pentagon indicate those who were on the plane, those benches facing away from the Pentagon indicate those who were in the building.
the one thing that i think makes this place so wonderful is how people can actually interact with the park. the idea of creating benches for those to ponder, grieve, and hope i thought was brilliant. the whole memorial concept and delivery was well executed.
i think this place carries a similar power that the Vietnam Memorial does. lacking ornate structures and overly detailed statues, the simplicity of its design evokes tons of emotion and carries itself with grace.
if you haven’t had a chance to swing by and visit, i suggest you do so. it is a humbling experience.
overall, i think the memorial has achieved it’s goal by building a place that we all can visit and pay respects to those we’ve lost.