Our proposal for the memorial asks each individual who experiences it to remember, contemplate and wrestle with the beings that were lost and those who remain. Who are they (we), who were they (we) and who would they (we) be after the attack that stole the lives of the victims from themselves, from their families and from the world. What did these people mean to us? How would they want us to continue after they vanished? This memorial is not an answer, it is a question and a meditation, an emotion and commemoration. It is about two dates, September 11th and the next day, September 12th.
The logistics of the site makes it difficult to access, both physically and security wise. The memorial can and should address two audiences: those who manage to make it on site, (families, pentagon employees, and others) and those who drive by on the surrounding highways. Stainless Steel, Glass, Light--material choices that are both fragile and strong ones, temporary and eternal, diurnal and nocturnal.
A.To the commuter, a memory is presented as they pass by at 50, miles an hour. 4 equally spaced stainless steel plate and glass vessels (the fifth is missing, becomes a reflective pool along the flight path) rise and fall, depending on the direction of the commuter (see #2 on the site plan). On the eastern and western ends of the vessels the names of the victims are chosen randomly (like they were) and projected towards the road and towards the pentagon. As the viewer's angle changes through polarization of light and glass, the names disappear. At night the glass will be illuminated, shining names on all three of it's exposed glass edges, seen even by the flight path above.
B.To the pedestrian visitor there is a memory and meditation journey taken through the site. Access to the site is on a path of Indiana limestone pebbles. The entry circle (#1 site plan) will have a text raised in the pebbles, a short text to be chosen still...A path perpendicular to the flight path runs through the site. The visitor passes by and around 5 equally spaced rising towers (#2 site plan), with names of the victims projected in between the metal walls, polished to reflect the sky and clouds the pentagon and the visitors themselves. A pool of water (#3 site plan) is located where the fourth tower should be. It is on axis with the charred stone on the pentagon wall.
At the end of the path (#4 site plan)is a ring(a circle that binds us all) of 184 rough hewn glass tablets. Rough hewn to exhibit all the different facets of each individual lost, glass to reflect ourselves in them and to reflect the light of their spirits. Four benches are in a slightly sunken circle, limiting the horizon line, so all the visitor sees is sky and glass. At night a light shines from under each tablet, lighting the circle and shining into the night sky, to be seen from the road and above.
An Indiana limestone wall (#5 site plan) with benches and planted with trees directs the path back to the entry, as well as acting to limit access to the Pentagon. Native blossoming trees reflect the passing of the seasons.
Power and emotion, memory and hope are the only words that
need be said, those that define each individual being that was lost.
Building type: Memorial
Primary components: Stainless Steel, indiana limestone, LED screens, cast glass