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Pentagon 9/11 Families Remember Lost Loved Ones

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2009 –  Family members of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon gathered here today to remember lost loved ones.

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Gloria Calderon, flanked by her children Jose Jr. and Vanessa, attend today’s 9-11 observance ceremony held at the Pentagon. Gloria’s husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Calderon, was one of 125 Pentagon workers who perished when terrorist-hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon’s west wall on Sept. 11, 2001. DoD photo by Gerry J. Gilmore
  

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“We were very close,” Darryl Young said of his sister Lisa, an Army civilian employee who was one of the 125 people in the Pentagon who perished when terrorist-hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the five-sided building’s west wall on Sept. 11, 2001. Fifty-nine victims aboard the airliner died in the attack.

“I still think about her all the time,” Darryl said of his departed sister.

Braving a chilly rain, Darryl and other surviving family members observed a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial attended by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Obamas personally greeted the families after the service.

The president’s attention “made me cry a little bit,” Darryl said.

Gloria Calderon, accompanied by her 18-year-old daughter Vanessa and 11-year-old son Jose Jr., was misty-eyed as she recalled the loss of her husband Jose, an Army sergeant first class who died at the Pentagon.

The wreath-laying ceremony “was very emotional,” said Gloria, adding that it was “very nice” that the president and first lady attended the observance.

“I’m glad that he was here, too, to support us in our loss,” Vanessa said of Obama.

As she surveyed the memorial’s grounds after the wreath-laying ceremony, Crystal Scott noted that the memory of her departed mother, Army civilian employee Janice Scott, is still fresh in her mind.

It is important to “remember her and the rest of the members who lost their lives,” Crystal said.

The Pentagon Memorial is “a wonderful way to honor” the victims of the attack, Crystal said, adding that today “is a time for reflection.”

Opened on Sept. 11, 2008, the Pentagon Memorial is the first dedicated national commemorative to honor those killed during the 2001 terrorist attacks. The memorial consists of 184 memorial benches honoring the 59 people aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and the 125 in the Pentagon killed in the attacks.

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Related Sites:
Pentagon Memorial
Special Report: Remembering 9/11

Click photo for screen-resolution imageCrystal Scott, the daughter of Janice Scott, an Army civilian employee who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, reflects upon her mother’s memory at the Pentagon Memorial following the observance ceremony today. DoD photo by Gerry J. Gilmore   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen comforts a family member at the Pentagon Memorial, Sept. 11, 2009. DoD photo by R. D. Ward   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imagePresident Barack Obama greets family members of those killed in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. During the 8th anniversary observance of the attack, held at the Pentagon Memorial, Sept. 11, 2009, Obama laid a wreath in honor of the 184 people killed and joined Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen in renewing the nation's committment to combat terrorism wherever it might exist in the world. DoD photo by R. D. Ward   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageRegan Howell and his two sons, Ashton, 8, and Alex, 12, are among the earliest family members to arrive for the 9:30 a.m. memorial ceremony marking the 8th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon was . Howell's brother, Brady Kay Howell, who worked for the Navy at the Pentagon was among the 125 Pentagon employees killed in the attack. The 2009 memorial observance at the Pentagon, held in rainy conditions, featured an address by President Barack Obama as well as remarks by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen. DoD photo by R. D. Ward   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageFamilies who suffered the loss of a relative in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon gather under rainy skies to participate in a memorial ceremony, Sept. 11, 2009, marking the 8th anniversary of the attack. At 9:37 a.m. on that fateful day, American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757 flying out of Dulles International bound for Los Angeles, was hijacked by terrorists and deliberately crashed into the Pentagon killing all 59 people aboard and 125 (Released)   
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Click photo for screen-resolution imagePresident Barack Obama (center) joined Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (right) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen (left), under rainy skies, for a wreath laying ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial. Here the officials salute at the playing of the national anthem. Attendance at the 8th anniversary ceremony was limited to those individuals or families who actually lost a loved-one in the attack. DoD photo by R. D. Ward  
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