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The Pentagon


Welcome to The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and an iconic monument to US military power. Located in Arlington, Virginia, it is a forty-five-minute subway ride under the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

Before 1941, the Army, Navy and Air Force offices were crowded into various buildings distributed through three states, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. A new building was constructed in the 1930s to consolidate military forces, but it was still too small. With America’s entry into World War Two looking likely, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a location in Arlington, Virginia for a new building. Its distinctive shape and height was a matter of necessity: an initial site for the building was bordered on five sides by roads.

Initially budgeted at $35 million, the final cost was $63 million, more than $900 million in today’s money. The Pentagon was built in just sixteen months and each wing was occupied as soon as it was completed.

On September 11, 2001 a team of five Al-Qaeda affiliated hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 77 and crashed it into the western side of the Pentagon. One wing was severely damaged and partially collapsed, and 189 people died. Today a monument stands outside the wing that honors those who lost their lives.