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Virginia county donates $100K to Pentagon Memorial Fund

Article - Saturday, April 28, 2007


Thursday, October 18, 2007
American Forces Press Service
Source: US Department of Defense 

Representatives of Fairfax County, Va., donated $100,000 Tuesday to help build the Pentagon Memorial that will honor the 184 people, including 20 county residents, killed during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the building.

County Supervisor Penelope A. Gross presented a check that brings funds raised so far to more than $15 million, Pentagon Memorial Fund spokesman Jerry Mullins reported.

The memorial fund committee’s goal is to raise $22 million to build and maintain the memorial.

Other contributors are the Commonwealth of Virginia, which donated $100,000; and the State of Maryland, which contributed $250,000, Mullins said. The private sector continues to support the effort, through corporate and individual donations.

Gross, who took the fundraising request to the county board of supervisors, said she felt it appropriate the county honor those killed, particularly its own residents who were in the building or aboard hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into it.

“This is an expression of Fairfax County caring about its residents and the effect the Sept. 11 attacks continue to have on our county and our country,” she said.

Noting that a $100,000 donation is “no small feat” for the county, she said its taxpayers can feel proud of their role in helping build a memorial that will keep the Sept. 11 victims “forever in our minds and hearts.”

Plans call for the Pentagon Memorial to be dedicated in September, Mullins said.

The memorial is being built on nearly two acres of land along the path the passenger jet took just before it hit the building.

It will include 184 benches, each with a lighted reflecting pool beneath it and a nameplate of a victim of the Pentagon attack. Benches for the 125 people who died inside the Pentagon will be oriented toward the building, and benches for the 59 passengers and crew aboard the hijacked jet will face away from the building, toward the sky, explained Jim Laychak, president of the Pentagon Memorial Fund.

Laychak’s brother, David, was an Army civilian employee killed in the attack. “It will be a unique place,” he said of the memorial. “(Just as) 9/11 was like no other day, we wanted a place (to remember it) like no other.”