During the tragic events of September 11, 2001, 184 lives were lost in an instant at the Pentagon, located in Arlington, Virginia. The design for a Memorial Park, dedicated to the victims of the attack, was selected in 2003 from over 1000 entries. The Memorial design was conceived by architects Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman of Kaseman Beckman Amsterdam Studio in New York.
The Pentagon Memorial opened to the public at 7 p.m. on September 11, 2008, following a Dedication Ceremony earlier in the day for invited guests only.
About the Pentagon Memorial
In remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, the Pentagon Memorial honors the 184 people whose lives were lost at the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77, their families and all those who sacrifice that we may live in freedom.
Built on 1.9 acres of land within view of the crash site of American Airlines Flight 77, design elements of the Pentagon Memorial include:
- Rectangular reflecting pools of light glow from beneath 184 gracefully cantilevered benches, each inscribed with the name of one of the victims.
- The memorial benches are arranged in a timeline based on the ages of the victims beginning with the youngest victim at age 3 and ending with the oldest victim at age 71.
- The memorial benches face opposite directions, determined by whether the victim was in the Pentagon or on American Airlines Flight 77.
- Several species of Maple trees, selected because they retain their foliage through the fall and into the winter months, are clustered in the park to provide shade and a canopy light and natural beauty.
Location and Getting to the Pentagon Memorial
The Pentagon Memorial is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Pentagon Memorial is located on the Pentagon Reservation at 1 Rotary Road in Arlington, Virginia. Because there is no public parking at the Memorial, the METRO system is recommended as the primary means of transportation for visitors. Private vehicles are permitted to unload and pick up passengers at designated areas, but parking and standing at these locations is prohibited and these regulations are strictly enforced.
Closest METRO Stations
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority operates the second largest rail transit system and the fifth largest bus network in the United States. The following METRO rail stations are within walking distance to the Pentagon Memorial:
- Pentagon METRO Station on the Blue and Yellow Lines is the closest rail stop to the Memorial
- Pentagon City METRO Station on the Blue and Yellow Lines
- Arlington National Cemetery Station on the Blue Line
In addition, many bus routes stop at the Pentagon METRO Transit Center. For additional rail and bus public transportation information, visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's METRO Website.
Where to Park
Metered Parking Options: Public metered parking options are available on the streets of Crystal City and Pentagon City. The closest public parking facility is located at The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City shopping mall, which has parking for a fee.
The Hayes Street Lot: On weekdays from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday and holidays until 7 a.m. the following business day, visitors to the Pentagon Memorial may be able to park at the Hayes Street Parking Lot across from The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. A pedestrian tunnel under I-395 leads to the Pentagon from the Hayes Street Lot. Overnight parking is strictly prohibited.
Parking for Visitors with Disabilities: There are limited parking spaces for visitors with disabilities, located in the Pentagon South Parking Lot, next to the Memorial Park. Vehicles parking in these spaces must display a valid disabled parking permit issued by the state of the vehicle registration.
Prohibited activities at the Pentagon Memorial include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Possession of firearms, fireworks, alcoholic beverages and glass containers, narcotics, and other dangerous substances
- Political soliciting, selling and posting of posters, flyers, handbills and similar items
- Eating and Drinking (water is permitted)
- Smoking in the Memorial or the Gateway
- Wheeled Vehicles, Roller Blades, etc. (Those used by persons with disabilities, strollers and baby carriages are permitted.)
- Pets and other animals (Seeing Eye dogs, guide dogs, police working dogs, etc. are authorized entry while performing their intended services. Owners and handlers are asked to pick up after their animals.)
- Music that can be heard by others, noise making devices such as public address systems, and sporting activities such as jogging, Frisbee playing and basketball bouncing are not allowed in the Memorial.
- Photography is permitted within the Pentagon Memorial only. Photography at all other locations on the Pentagon Reservation (pedestrian walkways, vehicular pathways and drop-off areas, for example) is strictly prohibited.
Before visiting the Pentagon Memorial, be sure to check the following official websites for updated information:
- The U.S. Department of Defense - Pentagon Memorial Visitor Information
- The Pentagon Memorial Fund Website