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Families at Pentagon Memorial Reflect on Lost Loved Ones

Article - Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lisa Daniel

American Forces Press Service
Source: US Department of Defense

Rebecca Dolan is a busy 24-year-old, a recent college graduate pursuing a journalism career here in the nation’s capital. But on this day, as she has each year on Sept. 11, Dolan paused to return to the site at the Pentagon where terrorists stole the lives of her father and 183 others.

“It’s easy to get occupied in your everyday life,” said Dolan, whose father, Navy Capt. Robert E. Dolan, worked in the building. “Coming here is a grounding experience for me. Everyone coming together is a reminder of hope for the future.”

Dolan was among some 200 family members of those killed in the 9/11 attacks who attended a closed service held this morning to coincide with the time and location that the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the south side of the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., nine years ago. Under a cloudless blue sky and with a fall chill in the air – much like the paradoxically beautiful weather of Sept. 11, 2001 – men, women and children gathered around 184 cantilevered benches bearing the name plates of their loved ones.

“This is a great accomplishment,” said Jim Laychak, president of the Pentagon Memorial Fund, which raised $25 million to build the two-acre memorial, dedicated on Sept. 11, 2008. Like others with the fund, which chose the design for the memorial, Laychak suffered a personal loss: his brother, David Laychak, an Army civilian, was killed in the attack. Click here to read the full story.