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Bush Dedicates 9/11 Memorial At Pentagon

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Im Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And Im Melissa Block.

Unidentified Woman #3: Dr. Paul W. Ambrose.

(Soundbite of bell)

Unidentified Woman #3: Specialist Craig S. Amundson, United States Army.

BLOCK: This morning, outside the nations capital, 184 men, women and children were remembered at the dedication of the Pentagon Memorial. As they did after the attack, rescue workers unfurled a huge American flag across the buildings west wall at the point of impact.

(Soundbite of song Amazing Grace)

BLOCK: And a bagpiper played as he walked through the memorial, a two-acre park with maple trees and rows of long, sleek, stainless steel benches, one bench for each victim.

An emotional Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense who was at the Pentagon on September 11th, paid tribute to the victims.

Mr. DONALD RUMSFELD (Former Secretary of Defense): They were men and women at their desks in the Pentagon who one morning kissed their loved ones goodbye, went off to work and never came home, and they were the passengers and crew aboard Flight 77 who in the last moments made phone calls to loved ones and prayed to the Almighty before their journey ended such a short distance from where it began.

BLOCK: President Bush called the memorial a graceful monument, both a tribute to those who died and to those who now serve.

President GEORGE W. BUSH (United States): Well always honor the heroes of 9/11, and here at this hallowed place we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.

We also honor those who raised their hands and made the noble decision to defend our nation in a time of war.

BLOCK: The Pentagon Memorial is the first of three major September 11th remembrance sites to be completed in the seven years since the attacks. Beginning tonight, it will be open to visitors 24 hours a day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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