The photos are our own but for accuracy, we will quote verbage from the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website:
The 184 Memorial Units within the Pentagon Memorial are located on the age line according to the year the victim was born. The age lines, denoted by stainless steel strips that cross the Memorial, begin at the zero line, which spans from the Gateway to the entrance of the Memorial. Etched into the granite zero line is the date and time of the attack: “SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 9:37 A.M.”
As we silently walked around reading the names of the victims on the edge of each of their benches, we noticed a few had small American flags placed on top while others had small flower bunches stemmed into the waters. It was quite a somber place of reflection even though there were quite a few visiting at the same time as us.
Now, seemingly odd to us, we noticed several people, mostly children on a field trip that were ‘sitting on the memorial benches’ in which, we thought to be disrespectful; that this was no different than someone sitting on a headstone at a cemetery. Quietly, one of us approached some youngsters telling them to be respectful of the memorial; they told us that their teacher said they were ‘allowed to sit on the benches’. At that point, we thought perhaps we were wrong figuring that’s what the designers intended the benches to be used for but then another part of us thought that despite the ‘design’, it was still a memorial and utmost respect should be warranted at each site and the sitting on the benches should be reserved for family and close friends of each victim. We’ve still yet to find an answer to that question. It probably goes with personal discretion, ‘if it feels right……”.
Aside from that, the Memorial offered us a place to reflect on those moments our Country was changed forever. When you are visiting the Washington D.C., please make it a point to visit this Memorial. You will not be disappointed.