Bells ring for 184 victims ‘slaughtered’ at Pentagon

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 2:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2021 at 4:19 PM CDT
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THE PENTAGON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Pentagon Saturday afternoon. It was their last stop on this somber day of remembrances that also took them to New York City and Pennsylvania.

The events at the Pentagon began early in the morning with music. A giant American flag was unveiled on the same side of the Pentagon that hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into 20 years ago.

“The ideology of hatred unfolded on this very ground. In seconds, scores of lives were lost. 184 men, women, and children were slaughtered,” said Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during Saturday morning’s ceremony.

“All of us are here, because we remember. And I hope that is at least some measure of comfort,” said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

There were prayers and the playing of Taps.

Over the course of 23 minutes, the names of all the victims were read out loud, followed by the ringing of a bell.

The oldest victim of the attacks here was a 71-year-old Navy veteran. The youngest was just 3. There were two young sisters and three sixth graders from Washington who were killed in Flight 77.

The outdoor memorial memorial helps keep their memories alive. It was dedicated on the seventh anniversary of the attacks in 2008.

It’s a quiet, peaceful place that is full of symbolism. There’s a bench for each victim - arranged in order from youngest to oldest.

Benches facing towards the building are for those who perished on the plane. The benches pointing away from the building are for the military and civilian workers who died inside the Pentagon.

Now, 20 years later, there are even more plans to remember them. A visitor education center and museum are in development. It would be located not far from the Pentagon, near Arlington National Cemetery.

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