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For Pentagon Memorial, the Power of Touch: Families of 9/11 Victims Reach Out to Embrace a Simple, Contemplative Design That Honors Complex Emotions

Article - Thursday, February 1, 2007

By Timothy Dwyer
The Washington Post

For more than five years, relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon have been meeting each month to track the progress of their mission: creating a place to memorialize their loved ones.
They have seen the project evolve from just words and wishes to an international design competition, then to a major fundraising effort ranging from neighborhood lemonade stands to corporate boardroom pitches. Now, it finally seems real.

"I mean, it is just gorgeous," said Rosemary Dillard, one of several family members who gathered yesterday at the crash site to look at the first mock-up of one of the memorial benches and a reflecting pool.

"To have been here for the five years that the families have been working on this and see this go from nothing to this is overwhelming," said Dillard, vice president of the Pentagon Memorial Fund. "Every time I think about it, the number of times I have cried about it, the number of times I have looked for strength, and now to see it just the way we wanted it to be, I can't even put it into words."

The prototype will be formally introduced to the public today at a news conference. The memorial is scheduled to be completed in September 2008.

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