Celebration subdued at Pentagon 9-11 memorial

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by David Ham

WVEC.com

Posted on May 2, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Updated Monday, May 2 at 6:27 PM

ARLINGTON -- People from across the country and around the world are marking Osama bin Laden’s death as a victory for the U.S.

While people across America celebrated, the ceremony at the Pentagon was more subdued.

184 people died at the Pentagon from the attack on 9-11. Monday, people took time to pay their respects to those who lost their lives.

People trickled in throughout the day, laying down flowers and wreaths at benches to pay their respect to those who lost their lives.

These are tears of joy for Nancy Cotten.

"I'm just glad that this is over with, just glad. Elated," said Nancy Cotten through what she said were tears of joy.

When Nancy and her husband heard Osama bin Laden was dead, they decided to visit the Pentagon where their dear friend Sheila Hein was killed on 9-11.

She died inside the Pentagon.

While Nancy laid down flowers, workers at the Pentagon shared a hug and a small flag to place on the bench.

"I'm glad we found her place and I'm glad we brought her flowers because I thought she should be remembered today."

Each bench at the memorial signifies one of the 184 people who lost their lives in the attack.

If the bench faces the Pentagon, the victim died on flight 77. If the bench faces away from the Pentagon, the victim died inside, like Hein, who was an Army photographer, killed when the jet slammed into the Pentagon.

"It just went right through. Instantly, she died."

It's a painful moment the Cottens have coped with for years.

On this day they say some of that pain has been lifted off of their hearts.

Nancy says her friend Sheila is dancing in heaven right now.

“I'm just so glad we finally made it here.”

The Pentagon says visitors are welcome here not only today but every day. The park is open all day and all night every day of the year.
 

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