- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2003

An engraved bench and lighted pool will honor each of the 184 persons who died in the September 11 attack on the Pentagon as a hijacked plane crashed into the building, Defense Department officials said yesterday.
These will the "light benches."
"The memorial had to be like no other memorial … because September 11 was like no other day," said Julie Beckman, of New York City, who designed the memorial with fellow New Yorker Keith Kaseman.
The memorial commemorates the 125 people who died inside the Pentagon, as well as the 64 aboard the airliner but not including the five terrorists.
Each bench, made from aluminum, will be engraved with the name of a victim and set on a concrete pad to stabilize them. Underneath each, a lighted pool will glow. The benches will be positioned according to age: from the youngest victim, age 3, to the oldest, age 71. The benches' positions will parallel the hijackers' flight path.
The two-acre memorial will sit about 160 feet from the Pentagon, close to the site of the plane crash. The site will be filled with clusters of trees throughout to provide shading and intimacy.
The construction of the memorial is expected to be completed by the second anniversary of the attacks.
The victims' family members, some of whom were involved in the selection process for the design, applauded the choice.
"The thing I liked about it was, it was a collective memorial and an individual memorial, yet it told the story of what happened on that day," said Jim Laychak, who served on the victims' family steering committee. His brother, David Laychak, 40, a civilian budget analyst for the Army, died in the attack.
The announcement of the Pentagon memorial follows the selection last week of the design to rebuild the site of the World Trade Center in New York.
The Pentagon memorial is expected to cost between $4.9 million and $7.4 million, and will be funded by donations. Taxpayer funds will not be used for the construction.
The Pentagon Memorial Project was started a month after the attack. The project is being spearheaded by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the National Building Museum in the District, and a steering committee of the family members of the victims. The Pentagon's renovation team will help oversee the project.
The groups visited such places as the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans memorials, discussed potential locations, and in April approved one just outside the crash site.
The contest received proposals from every state and from more than 50 nations worldwide. The design was chosen from about 1,100 entries.
Judges include a family member of a victim; two former secretaries of defense; Lynne V. Cheney, the vice president's wife; architects; an artist; and Carolyn Shelton, wife of Gen. Henry H. Shelton, retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Mr. Laychak said in August that the families have been closely involved in the memorial process. The committee is made up of about a dozen family members.
"This is important for us," he said. "We want something that honors our loved ones and is something all Americans can be proud of."
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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