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The Pentagon/The Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon/The Pentagon Memorial

1155 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301



The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, “”the Pentagon”” is often used metonymically to refer to the U.S. Department of Defense rather than the building itself.

The Pentagon is the world’s largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 square feet, of which 3,700,000 square feet are used as offices. Approximately 28,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor. The Pentagon includes a five acre central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon and informally known as “”ground zero,’ a nickname originating during the Cold War and based on the presumption the Soviet Union would target one or more nuclear missiles at this central location in the outbreak of a nuclear war.

On September 11, 2001, exactly sixty years after the building’s groundbreaking, a Boeing 757-223, American Airlines Flight 77, was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 189 (the five hijackers, 59 other aboard the plane and 125 in the building). It was the first significant foreign attack on the capital’s U.S. government since the burning of Washington by the British during the War of 1812.