About the VEC
In May of 2003, victims’ families came together to raise funds to build a memorial near the site of the attack on the Pentagon. Each victim has a bench, beautifully crafted, to honor their memory and their life. On September 11, 2008, the Pentagon Memorial was dedicated in the shadow of the Pentagon. But too often, visitors leave the Pentagon Memorial with a sense of longing to understand from start to finish the tragic happenings of that day, in that spot. That is why we need the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center. The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center will serve to fill a vital role in telling the untold story.
The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center
The events of 9/11 are unforgettable. Everyone carries their own distinct memory of where they were and what it felt like when they first heard about the attacks. And yet the Pentagon’s story of that day still needs to be told.
The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center will be a place where visitors from around the world can learn about the events of September 11, 2001, the lives lost, and the historic significance of the Pentagon Memorial site. The Pentagon Memorial Fund invites you to be a part of history. Sponsor the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center and help others understand the day the world changed.
The Pentagon is the only 9/11 attack site without a visitor center or museum to explain the historic significance of the site. Among the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Memorial each year, few know that this memorial is different from all others in Washington, DC in that it is located where the event took place. Research showed that there is a unique teachable moment at the Memorial to explain the events on 9/11; the stories of the victims and heroes; the role of the Department of Defense and Pentagon; and how the United States and governments around the world are working to help prevent another 9/11.
With the guidance from the project’s official education partner, National Geographic, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center’s interactive exhibits and education programs will give visitors a sense of the broad impact of the tragedy from a variety of perspectives. Stories of the courage and resilient spirit demonstrated by Pentagon employees, first responders and residents of the area will be shared throughout the exhibits. Content for the exhibits and education curricula will be developed by the VEC’s Exhibit Design Partner, the PRD Group, through working collaborations with the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, the 9/11 Tribute Center, the Flight 93 Memorial/National Park Service, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), National Geographic, and Smithsonian Museum of American History, and the Oklahoma City National Memorial/Museum.
Tens of thousands of children and students come to the Memorial each year and few know why this Memorial is different from all others in Washington, DC in that it is located where the event took place. Many of those are eighth-graders on class trips that are too young to have experienced the tragedy of 9/11. We do not want to miss out on these teachable moments. The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center will become the place to tell the stories of the victims and help others understand and appreciate the historic events that took place that day. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the survivors and heroes in the Pentagon and the response of the US government and countries around the world on September 12 when NATO invoked Article 5 and 23 ally countries offered to help defend the United States. It is this united cooperation and support that is as relevant and important today as it was on September 12, 2001.
In collaboration with the project’s official education partner, National Geographic, the exhibit designer for the Visitor Education Center, the PRD Group, is creating interactive exhibits and education programs to give visitors a sense of the broad impact of the tragedy from a variety of perspectives.
The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center will be located southwest of the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on the other side of Washington Boulevard (US Rt27). It will be within view of and just a short walk to the existing 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. A transformation of the area as it exists today, as a result of the Arlington National Cemetery’s Southern Expansion Project, will ensure numerous means by which visitors can quickly access the Center, including by Metro, shuttle bus, or driving; and it will be pedestrian friendly. This reconfiguration of the physical space will connect the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitors Education Center, the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery like never before, making it easier to experience all of these iconic locations in a single day.
- Current Access to the Pentagon Memorial
- Future Access to the Pentagon Memorial
- Future 911 Pentagon Memorial Shuttle Tour