Members of Congress are seeking $25 million to help defray costs at the county’s 9/11 memorials, including the Pentagon Memorial.
Arlington’s Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), along with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), are leading a request for $25 million they say is needed to fund the “9/11 Memorial Competitive Grants Program.”
“We made a promise in the days after 9/11 — to never forget,” Beyer told ARLnow through a spokesman. “These memorials represent that promise, to never forget the bravery, the sacrifice, and the honor we saw that day.”
The program is part of the 9/11 Memorial Act which the Senate unanimously approved last year. The bill allows the Department of Interior to award grants to 9/11 memorial sites helping cover costs like “continued operation, security, and maintenance.”
Recently, four Republicans and 15 Democratic representatives from New York and Virginia signed a letter requesting Congress allocate the $25 million needed to “fully fund” the program as part of the government’s annual budget cycle.
“The Pentagon Memorial is open 24 hours a day, and, to meet the volume and demand of visitors, the Pentagon Memorial Fund develops a wide variety of educational materials and programs,” the letter says
Pentagon Memorial spokesman Jerry Mullins said that over a million people visit the memorial each year, and staff creates resources like teacher guides and lesson plans for grades 9-12 as well as take-away materials available at the site.
He said funds are needed to develop the Visitor Education Center and expand the educational programming in general.
“It’s really for the school-age kids who really have no memory of the attacks,” he said. “It’s an opportunity once again that this country will never forget what happened that day.”
Renderings for the visitor’s center from 2016 featured a glass wall showing where Flight 77 struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Officials said at the time they expected the building to be open by 2020.
The memorial’s website is also asking for donations for the Center which is says will instruct generations to learn about the attacks “and the unprecedented response in the minutes, hours, weeks, and now years later.”