Plans for Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center Revealed

A man who lost his brother in the 9/11 terror attacks 14 years ago helped reveal plans for a new Visitor’s Education Building at the Pentagon Friday.

A sign went up Friday just across from the Pentagon Memorial to the 184 victims of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. The sign marks the spot where the new center will be built. 

Jim Laychak helped lead the effort to get the Pentagon Memorial built. He often spends time at the bench bearing the name of his brother, Dave, who died on 9/11.

While leading a tour for sixth graders a few years ago, Laychak said he realized more than the memorial might be needed to help others remember. The students on the tour didn't know a plane had created the devastation.

“We started getting into a conversation and they were like, ''We thought there were all bombs that went off,'” Laychak said. “That’s when we realized we had a teachable moment that we are missing for generations that are coming after 9/11.”

Drawings show where those future generations will learn the story of what happened at the Pentagon on 9/11. A video also helps make the pitch.

Laychak said the center also will serve to tie together the nearby Air Force Memorial and Arlington Cemetery. A walking path is planned from the center to the spot at Arlington where 9/11 remains are interred.

Designing and building the center will cost $60 million. Organizers want to raise another $15 million to help with long-term maintenance at the memorial itself.

Groundbreaking could happen as early as 2017.

Laychak said the effort is just another way to honor his brother.

“I keep thinking about the best way to honor Dave's life is to live your life the best way you can,” he said. ”And for me, it’s trying to do what we can here, to tell the story of what happened at the Pentagon.”

To find out more information about the project, visit The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial website.

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