Defense Department Unveils Pentagon Memorial Finalists
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2002 More than 1,100 people submitted designs for a memorial to those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon. Defense officials today announced the six designs selected as finalists.
After the attack, DoD put out a call around the world for ideas on how best to remember the event and its victims. An 11-member panel of artists, designers, family members of those killed in the attack, and two former secretaries of defense took three days to choose the finalists from among the 1,126 qualified entries.
Entries were due Sept. 11. Officials said entries were received from all 50 states and from about 50 other countries around the world. A world map highlighting where entries came from is available on the Internet at pentagonmemorial.nab.usace.army.mil/Documents/world.jpg.
Panel spokesman Terry Riley described the six finalists during a Pentagon press briefing. Riley is chief curator of architecture and design at New York City's Museum of Modern Art.
"As three days wore on, we moved closer and closer to a common understanding of what we were looking for," Riley said.
The panelists were attracted to many of the same attributes displayed by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. They sought proposals with common themes.
He said the Vietnam Memorial has a certain "interactivity" the group members appreciated. "Because there is a name for each person, family members (and) friends have a place to go," he said. "There's always bouquets of flowers, notes or some sort of interplay between the memorial and visitors."
Panelists also appreciated the Vietnam Memorial's "tendency toward abstraction." Riley said this allows people of different faiths and philosophies to each find their own meaning in the memorial.
It was also important that the memorial not be geared too much toward military images, because many of the victims killed in the attack weren't Pentagon personnel but passengers on the hijacked airplane, Riley said.
The memorial will be located outside the Pentagon near the point of impact. Officials will decide on a final design in December and hope to begin construction soon after.
Artists' renderings of the six finalist proposals are available online at memorialcompetition.pentagon.mil.