- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 12, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Workers yesterday fitted a blackened slab of limestone into place at the Pentagon, marking nine months since the September 11 terrorist attack by completing repair of the building's damaged facade.
"You've healed this wall, and in doing so, you're helping to heal this nation," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told a crowd of construction workers at the site. He said the reconstruction "honors those who died here and defies those who seek not to build, but to kill and destroy."
The stone placed yesterday was engraved with the date September 11, 2001 it was damaged when terrorist hijackers flew an American Airlines jet into the Pentagon, killing themselves and 184 others.
Behind it, Walker Lee Evey, head of the Pentagon renovation program, put a bronze "dedication capsule" containing names of the victims and mementos of the terrorist attack.
Workers have rebuilt the portions of three outer rings of the massive office building that had to be torn down after the attacks. The rebuilt sections have to be finished with walls, wiring, fixtures and the like before furniture, and then workers, can be moved back in.
The project is on target to have people working in the outer ring, where the plane hit, on the first anniversary of the attack, Mr. Evey said.
Officials now estimate the reconstruction will cost $501 million, Mr. Evey said, down from a $740 million estimate several months ago. He said the Defense Department is considering spending the leftover $239 million on measures to further protect the Pentagon from future attacks.
The rebuilt section has several protective features, including more reinforced concrete, cloth lining the walls to prevent masonry from turning into shrapnel and more standpipes to reinforce the sprinkler system.
Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers yesterday opened the design competition for a Pentagon attack memorial.
The competition is open to anyone. Carol Anderson-Austra, the memorial project manager, said she expects to get hundreds, if not thousands, of entries.
Precise guidelines are not yet available, but the memorial will have to fit in front of the spot where the Pentagon was hit and not be so tall as to interfere with helicopter and airplane flights in the area.
"We're really looking for a vision, an artistic vision, not a plan," Miss Anderson-Austra said.
Deadline for entries is September 11. Miss Anderson-Austra said they will be judged by a nine-member team, including a relative of the victims.
Officials hope to have five or more finalists chosen in October and the winning design picked by mid-December, she said.


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