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Pentagon Memorial Fund Seeks Nearly $30 Million in Donations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2004 – The Pentagon Memorial Fund campaign was officially launched here April 22 during a Capitol Hill ceremony.

Almost $30 million is being solicited, according to a news release from the Washington, D.C., public relations firm handling fund-raising for the memorial on a pro bono basis.

About $17.5 million of collected funds will be used to build the memorial, according to the release. Another $10 million in donations, the release continued, will be earmarked for memorial maintenance.

Some $2 million already has been collected, including a $1 million donation from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, the first major corporate donor to the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

James Laychak, president of the Pentagon Memorial Fund; retired Army Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an executive member of the memorial fund committee, and other luminaries attended the Capitol Hill kick-off ceremony, the release noted. Laychak lost his brother, David, in the Pentagon attack.

The Pentagon Memorial will be built in a park-like setting among maple trees, and will consist of 184 individual units -- the number of people killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist-hijacked airliner attack on the Pentagon. Each memorial unit will consist of a bench bathed in light from a reflecting pool.

The group of 184 memorials will be located near the spot where Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, according to the release, which noted that victims' ages ranged from 3 to 71 years old.

The Pentagon Memorial Fund Web site enables donations through a secure online system, the release noted.

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