On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people perished during the single largest terrorist attack in American history. Almost 20 years later, millions of Americans still remember the events of that day. You can honor those who died by taking a journey to one of the three September 11 national memorials.
The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C.
First dedicated on Sept. 11, 2008, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial is a beautiful open space shaded by 85 crape myrtle trees. The memorial contains 184 memorial units: benches surrounded by a lit water pool, each engraved with the name of a deceased service member or civilian. These benches honor all those who died at the Pentagon during the attack, including passengers on American Airlines Flight 77, which terrorists hijacked and crashed into the building.
The open-air memorial is free and open 24 hours a day. Check out the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website for more information and to plan a visit.
“As a family member and a survivor, I have a love-hate relationship with the Pentagon Memorial. The love is having a place to go to honor my sister and coworkers. The love is the design, and the care that went into building it. The love is seeing all the people who supported it, who visit it every year. And the hate… I hate it, because I wish it wasn’t there. That 9/11 didn’t happen at all,” said Katherine D., a retired Pentagon worker, surviving family member and building survivor who volunteers at the memorial.
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City
The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are two connected sites of remembrance and education, honoring those who perished at the World Trade Center in both the skyscrapers and American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.
The outdoor National September 11 Memorial features almost-acre sized reflecting pools and the largest manmade waterfalls in North America, nestled within the foundations of where the “Twin Towers” once stood.
The National September 11 Museum is the only national museum of its kind exclusively dedicated to recording the events of 9/11, as well as the lingering influence of the attacks on the country’s culture and politics. The museum features both permanent and visiting exhibitions, encouraging repeated visits to see these events from a different perspective.
While the memorial is free, the museum does charge for admission.
The Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown, Pennsylvania
The third national memorial dedicated to the events of September 11, 2001, is the Flight 93 National Memorial, located at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 in southwestern Pennsylvania. Here, the passengers and crew wrestled control away from their terrorist hijackers, purposefully crashing the plane to prevent another attack, saving lives and thwarting an attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Visitors are encouraged to explore the full outdoor memorial and the Visitor Center to learn more about the memorial’s design and the 40 passengers and crew it honors. The National Park Service maintains this memorial and its grounds year-round. There is no entrance fee.
Plan a trip that takes in the 9/11 memorials
As your military life takes you across this country, add a stop to visit one of these memorials to learn about those who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is important not to forget what happened.