9/11 Pentagon Memorial Takes Shape

Washington Post

The metal for Zoe and Dana Falkenberg was just under 3,000 degrees, glowing in heavy, black cauldrons that hung from the ceiling on cables and huge iron hooks. Workers at MetalTek International, a foundry 30 miles south of St. Louis, had finished the memorials for all the other victims, and they had saved those for the youngest, the two sisters, for last.

The girls and their parents were heading to Australia for a family vacation Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers seized their plane and slammed it into the western side of the Pentagon at 530 mph. Zoe was 8 years old. Dana was 3.

When the nation’s first 9/11 memorial opens at the Pentagon this Sept. 11, two long, curving, stainless steel benches engraved with the sisters’ names will be among the first objects visitors see. There will be 184 memorial benches at the site, one for each of the 125 people killed in the building and the 59 who died on American Airlines Flight 77.

It was something of a milestone, then, for the small crowd that gathered in yellow hard hats and plastic goggles on the shop floor of MetalTek one recent morning to watch the sisters’ benches forged side by side. Engineers and metallurgists stood with victims’ family members as workers in protective suits and welder’s masks streamed molten steel into special, sand-lined casts, from which sparks and jagged flames erupted.

No comments necessary. See the Post story for video, as well.

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One Response to “9/11 Pentagon Memorial Takes Shape”

  1. darthcrUSAderworldtour2007 says:

    Still miss Barbara Olson – Ted’s wife – who was supposed to fly out on September 10th, but opted to celebrate Ted’s Birthday on September 11th instead. Barb was on ~AA77~ Chick Burlingham’s plane on 9-11 that penetrated the outer ‘E’ ‘D’ and ‘C’ rings. Her novel about the Clintonistas – ‘Hell To Pay’ – was great! Bud argued masterfully before the Supremes in Bush v. Gore and kicked Sorelosermen *ss! Too bad Goreons!!

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