Arlington County firefighters honored for 9/11 response
March 24, 2011
ARLINGTON, Va., March 24, 2011 -- For 60 years, hundreds of large stone blocks served quietly on the west facade of the Pentagon. In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack at the Pentagon, some of those stones rested quietly stored nearby at Ft. McNair. One of those stones finally came home to Arlington during a ceremony between the U. S. military and the Arlington County Fire Department Mar. 24, 2011.
Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region and the U. S. Army Military District of Washington (JFHQ-NCR/MDW) presented the Pentagon stone at a packed Arlington County Fire Station No. 5 in recognition of the firefighter's service following the 911 attack. Station No. 5 is located a short distance from the Pentagon and the ceremony was open to the public.
Though the Pentagon (built 1941-42) was famously built - quickly -- as a reinforced concrete structure, the building's facade is made of limestone from Indiana.
The stone presented to Arlington is part of a large stone block that was recovered from the west facade of the Pentagon. Most likely, it sat within 50-75 yards of the part of the Pentagon damaged during the attack - this is known due to detailed blueprints available from the original construction, matched with the specific identification number of a nearby stone.
As part of the 2001 recovery efforts, a military team recovered two stones from the Pentagon -- a small stone weighing 225 pounds and numbered #DB849, and a larger adjacent stone weighing 2400 pounds. The two stones were taken to Fort McNair, where they have remained undisturbed for 10 years.
JFHQ NCR/MDW has cut the large stone into three pieces - each weighing 800 pounds - and is presenting one piece each to the Arlington County Fire Department, the FBI Washington Field Office, and the New York City Fire Department. The presentations are made in recognition and commemoration of the three agencies' rescue and recovery efforts on Sept. 11, 2001. The second, smaller stone will be retained by the JFHQ NCR/MDW, where it will be set in a place of honor at Fort McNair.