Pentagon to Hold 9/11 Memorial Tour, Walk
By Steven Donald Smith
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 6, 2005 The Defense Department will open the site of the planned Pentagon Memorial and the existing America's Heroes Memorial to the public for the first time on Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Military honor guard tour guides will lead tours and answer questions during this four-hour period, and a model of the future Pentagon Memorial will be on display, according to a DoD press release.
The outdoor Pentagon Memorial is currently being developed at the southwest corner of the Pentagon Reservation. The memorial will feature 184 illuminated benches, arranged according to the victim's age, from 3 to 71.
The America's Heroes Memorial is housed inside the Pentagon, near the site where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building. It contains large black acrylic panels etched with the names of those killed, as well as a book filled with photographs and biographies of each of the victims.
According to a DoD press release, tours of the memorial site will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors wishing to take part in the tour can call (703) 697-1776 for more information.
The tours will be available one day before the Defense Department's first "America Supports You Freedom Walk." The walk will allow citizens the opportunity to remember the victims of Sept. 11, honor American servicemembers, past and present, and commemorate freedom, according to the Freedom Walk Web site.
America Supports You is a nationwide program launched by the Defense Department to recognize citizens' support for American military men and women and communicate that support to members of the armed forces at home and abroad.
The walk will begin at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 in the Pentagon South Parking lot, near the site where the airliner crashed into the building. The walk route will consist of a two-mile journey by Arlington National Cemetery, over the Potomac River, and will end by the reflecting pool on the National Mall, where a free musical tribute featuring country music star Clint Black will take place.
The walk "will include many of the major monuments in Washington, D.C., reminding participants of the sacrifices of this generation and of each previous generation that have so successfully defended our freedoms," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in announcing the event Aug. 9.
Those wishing to participate in the Freedom Walk can register online by visiting www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil and clicking on the Freedom Walk icon. Information on volunteer opportunities at the event also is available online.