June 27, 2015

Pentagon Memorial

There are a lot of memorials in Washington DC. Like, a lot. But for some reason the Pentagon Memorial wasn't one we were really planning on seeing. In fact, we weren't really planning on visiting the Pentagon at all until we realized we had some time late in the afternoon on our first day. And, wow.... I am so glad we carved out some time to see this place. I was nearly moved to tears. Talk about humbling, y'all.

Like I said, we got here late in the day, and thankfully there weren't that many other people visiting the memorial. We had plenty of room to really walk around the memorial and absorb the impact it was leaving on us.

This memorial is incredibly well done. The artistry, the look, the meanings behind every single detail... It is clear that so much thought and purpose was put into honoring the Pentagon victims of 9/11. I was actually able to figure out why this memorial was built the way it was without the aid of a tour guide, an audio guide, or even a brochure. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you know a memorial is built well and with thought and care.

I'd love to share with you the meaning behind every detail here on SS Jess, but I'd also hate to rob anyone of the opportunity to "figure it out for yourself" if and when you get a chance to visit the Pentagon Memorial. For me, figuring out the answers to all my "whys" on my own is part of the reason this memorial had such a profound impact on me.

Tips for visiting the Pentagon Memorial

- Don't visit during "peak" times. Visiting the memorial late in the day when the crowds were thin made my time here so much more meaningful. I was able to take my time without the distractions of large field trips, tour groups, and just large amounts of people. And an added perk, it was incredibly hot this day, but visiting later in the afternoon meant the sun wasn't so harsh.

- Notice everything. Every single tiny detail of this memorial has a purpose and a meaning, so pay attention. At first, you'll notice the big things, but the longer you stay and wander, you'll start to notice the smaller details. And there will probably be details that you don't even realize. After we thought we were done wandering, my aunt dialed the number for the audio guide on her cell phone, to which her, my mom, and myself listened. The audio guide made mention of details that we didn't even know were part of the memorial.

- Look at the building, too. You can see  the color difference on the bricks - between the old and the new - where the plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon. It's very real and very emotional. To be that close to a sight of such tragedy... Humbling doesn't even begin to describe it. (You can see the difference in the photo below.)

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