8 years ago, 19 men bent on murder captured airplanes carrying civilians and ran them into buildings. Two planes crashed in New York, one crashed in Pennsylvania, and one more here in our area, into the wall of the Pentagon. 64 men and women aboard Flight 77, and 125 more inside the Pentagon, were turned to so much ash as the plane obliterated a large section of the building.
Today, we remember their deaths as tragedy. Those lives, and the thousands more who died in New York and Pennsylvania, weigh heavy on us all today. We bear their loss as a scar; it has begun to heal, but shall always leave us marked.
This will be the only tribute to those deaths on this site today. We do not wish to define our city by this day or this disaster, nor should we hold it up to claim victimhood and suffering any longer. We mourn the departed, though it is time to reclaim who we are and continue to rebuild. A year to the day after the crash, repairs were completed at the Pentagon. It is true that you can reconstruct a building faster than you can reconstruct your life, but we must get beyond the viscera of the event. We honor the day, but do not let it own us. Our calendar shall run normally today. If you are moved to leave memories of the day’s events, please leave them here.