J.L. and Dawn Lewis had the opportunity to tour the Pentagon yesterday with First Tee member and J.L.’s First Tee partner in the Homecare and Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Annie Diebert and her family, Major John Diebert and his wife Leilani. Major Diebert gave a fantastic tour of the Pentagon. They first met at the Air Force Memorial, which depicts the missing man formation, has a spectacular view of the city and overlooks the Pentagon. The Pentagon is the headquarters for the Department of Defense and is the largest office building in the country. It holds offices for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines.
The main entrance of the Pentagon has the feel of a shopping mall. There are approximately 23,000 employees and the building contains amenities to sustain daily living such as a post office, libraries, floral shop, video rental, restaurants, doctors, and a drug store. The facility is completely self sufficient; everything one might need can be found without leaving the building. It is thought to be one of the most efficient office buildings today; with 17.5 miles of corridors it only takes 7 minutes to walk between any two points in the building. Constructed in the shape of a pentagon, there are 5 floors above ground, 5 concentric rings of offices, and 10 corridors set like bicycle spokes. In the center of the five sided, five story building is a beautiful courtyard and cafe. Each hall in the Pentagon has a different theme displaying a multitude of history, memorabilia, artwork and quotes from our great leaders throughout history.
Exactly 60 years to the day after the groundbreaking ceremony, the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon after being hijacked, killing all aboard as well as over a hundred people within the Pentagon. The flight penetrated three of the five rings of the Pentagon. Because the affected area was under renovation at the time, several offices were unoccupied, sparing many lives. At the Pentagon Memorial it is inscribed, “We claim this ground in remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001 to honor the 184 people whose lives were lost, their families, and those who sacrifice that we may live in freedom. We will never forget.” The memorial park is designed to be a place of remembrance, reflection, and renewal, and is structured in a highly specific and unique way. Consisting of 184 memorial benches dedicated to each individual victim, the park is organized as a time line of the victims’ ages, spanning from Dana Falkenberg, age 3, to John Yamnicky, age 71. Memorial benches pointing toward the Pentagon honor the lives lost on American Air Flight 77 and benches pointing away from the building honor those who died in the Pentagon.