September 11th Memorial Completed

September 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Seven years after the September 11th attacks, the first official memorial is complete. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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It's at the Pentagon where American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the building, killing 184 people.

"She would have been proud of the way it looks."

Sitting next to his father on the bench dedicated to his mother, 21-year-old Thomas Heidenberger is in awe over the memorial that was once only a vision. "It looks exactly what the artist's rendition was. This is exactly it, and it looks great."

Michelle Heidenberger was a flight attendant onboard American Airlines flight 77 when hijackers crashed it into the Pentagon, killing 184 people. Now, at the site where their lives were lost, memories of them live on. For each victim: a bench, a tree and a pool. All arranged according to where they were at the time of the attack and their ages, from 3 years old to 71.

Memorial fund president James Laychak lost his brother on that day. "When I read my brother's name on the end of his bench, I'll see the pentagon in the background that signifies that he died in the pentagon. For someone who was on the plane, it will be reversed."

For Tom, Michelle's husband of 30 years, the memorial represents the good that came out of such a horrific day. "There are countless people who have no place to go, have no closure, no remains. And here, for example, we have a place to go," said Heidenberger.

As for memorials in New York City and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, officials say they are still years away.



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