September 11, 2001

Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward and freedom will be defended... make no mistake, we will show the world that we will pass this test.
George W. Bush

Firefighters struggle to contain the fire, September 11, 2001 Exactly 60 years to the day after the groundbreaking ceremony, the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the Pentagon after being hijacked, killing all aboard as well as over a hundred people within the Pentagon. The flight penetrated three of the five rings of the Pentagon. Because the affected area was under renovation at the time, several offices were unoccupied, sparing many lives. The aircraft struck on the edge between two sections—one of which had just finished being upgraded.

Contractors involved in the Pentagon Renovation Program were also charged with the task of rebuilding the damaged section of the Pentagon following the attacks. This additional project was named the "Phoenix Project", with the goal of having the outermost offices in the damaged section occupied again by September 11, 2002. Part of the pre-attack renovation had involved adding improved security features, including walls and windows with greater blast resistance. An initial analysis suggested that the section's improvements had saved lives, enabling more people to evacuate.

Aftermath from a terrorist attack of the Pentagon, September 11, 2001Repairs included demolition of the damaged areas, complete rebuilding of the area that had previously been renovated, and reconstruction of the shell of the unrenovated section. The first Pentagon tenants whose offices were damaged in the attack began moving back in on August 15, 2002, nearly a month ahead of schedule. The repairs cost the Department of Defense about $500,000,000. Before the September 11, 2001 attacks, an escalator ran from the Metro station to the Pentagon lobby. After the attack this escalator was blocked off and later removed as part of the Pentagon Renovation Program.