The FBI unveiled 27 new photographs of plane fragments, melted offices, and gaping holes inside the Pentagon after the September 11th attacks, revealing rare perspectives of rescue workers and FBI agents working among the debris.
But the images have no place at the Pentagon Memorial, a site without a museum or visitor center. The grounds are the only location attacked on September 11th without an indoor area for artifacts, photos or displays, a distinction one man hopes to change.
“We're working on the design of a visitor center right now and we're focused on raising money for this effort,” said Pentagon Memorial Fund President James J. Laychak in an interview Friday. “This is a unique place in all of Washington since we have the memorial where the event actually happened.”
Laychack lost his brother David at the Pentagon, 10 months after the civilian Army employee moved his family to Washington. David’s bench on the memorial grounds is positioned to show the Pentagon in the background, signifying he died within the building.
PHOTOS: 9/11 attack and investigation images
“I always said he was at the wrong place at the wrong time because his office is probably 30 or 40 feet from where the plane came into the building,” Laychak said. “He didn’t have a cell phone back in 2001. And the longer we didn’t hear from him, we just got this sinking feeling.”
James was one of the jurors who selected the memorial’s final design, and has since led efforts to raise $3 million for a future visitor center.
The building would be constructed across the street from the Pentagon, on land now being transferred to Arlington Cemetery. The memorial foundation has a goal to raise $25 million this year and finalize a design for the structure.