911 Memorial in Quantico, Virginia

Pictures and text by Chris Hileman

These pictures were taken on the 3rd and 4th of April, 2007.

The memorial is located in the quad at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I found the memorial to be a simple yet powerful memorial with a lot of symbolism. The memorial was donated by the National Academy Class in 2002 and is one of the more stirring memorials donated by a National Academy class. The memorial is unnamed yet it purpose to honor and remember all those lost that day and those that gave all on that day such as the police officers and fire fighters that entered the World Trade Center to bring people out, those that rushed into the Pentagon to pull others out, and to those on United Flight 93 who fought to regain control of the plane before it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The memorial it self is located in the quad area of the Academy between where students pass to the library and the cafeteria and to the dorm rooms so all pass by the memorial all day long, in addition the area is shaded and allows just enough sun to light the memorial with natural light. The memorial is constructed of black marble and grey granitite. There are two black marble towers located in the same position as the towers were located slightly off center of one another at the top of each tower a silver line wraps around closely resembling the tops of the twin towers. On the south side of the tower is located the out line of the state of Pennsylvania a star marking Shanksville where Flight 93 crashed on the morning of September 11th. The base of the towers consists of grey granitite in the shape of the Pentagon that encircles the Twin Towers. Just below that on the Southside of the memorial are three pieces of grey granitite each one has mounted on it pieces of September 11th, from left to right is a piece of aircraft aluminum from Flight 93 with the colors of United Airlines still visible, next is a piece of granitite that was part of the Pentagon, and lastly part of the concrete from the World Trade Center. Around the memorial are daphidils in bloom that reflect off the black granite forming all sides. On the South East side of the memorial and north west side are located the inscription "Dedicated to the courage, spirit, and sacrifice of those who perished in the struggle to save other and to those who preserved to protect freedom Sept. 11, 2001"

Is looking north at the memorial to the side with the image of Pennsylivania on it.
Is a view of the side of the memorial with the dedication on it.
piece of Flight 93
piece of Pentagon
piece of World Trade Center

The memorial is very simple yet symbolic in its construction and moving in that it contains pieces of September 11th. Human nature likes to contact and touch history to be part of it when possible and to be moved by it. This memorial allows that with the pieces of the events from that day, the cold feeling of the aircraft aluminum and knowing that the last time it was part of an aircraft it was witness to heroism and wondering how before that day how many people were sheltered by its skin. The cool rock of the Pentagon and wondering about how much history it witnessed and how many millions passed behind it before it reached its final destination. Then the concrete of the World Trade Center and wondering about what it had been witness to from the time it was built through the first World Trade Center bombing and then its final day on 9/11.

The memorial is a very moving one as it allows the visitor to reflect on the events of that day and with the pieces of the events of that day present become part of it and to touch history. While it is a tribute to the tragic events of that day and to those that lost their lives in the events of the day in some respects it is also a war memorial as since that day the United States has been in an ongoing war unlike any other it has ever fought.


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