Exploring Possibilities at the Pentagon

Pentagon Tour

Manumailagi Hunnicutt

Inspiration at the Pentagon

Today we had the pleasure of touring part of the Pentagon. Our tour guide was the lovely Officer Jackson, who was amazing at answering all of our questions about the Pentagon and telling us about his personal experiences in law enforcement and in the Army. Walking around the Pentagon and seeing all of the personnel in their uniforms was really cool, but what I most loved about the trip is the fact that it reinstated my confidence in pursuing a career in law enforcement.

Recently, I have been swamped with prepping for college and narrowing down the possibilities of what I want to do in the future. I had started to doubt if my aspirations to be in law enforcement, whether as a crime scene investigator or as an FBI agent, is even possible, or if I am up for the challenge. However, what Officer Jackson had to say gave me the confidence to think that a career in law enforcement is something I can actually have. 

As excited as I am for the rest of the trip, I’m not sure if anything is going to make me feel as good about my future as the trip to the Pentagon did today. Now I am filled with hope, and I’m excited to see what the next few years of my life will bring.

From Fantasy to Reality: the Space Force

Chloe Smith

Today I was not quite sure what to expect from our tour of the Pentagon. I knew that it is related to the military, but that was about it. Officer Jackson took us inside, where we were greeted by Charlie, a service dog that works with people to relieve their stress. I thought this was very interesting, because normally service dogs are assigned to an individual person, but Charlie doesn’t really have an owner. 

My favorite part of the day was learning about the Space Force, which joined the Pentagon in 2019. Throughout the halls of the Pentagon are museum-like displays on the walls representing the six different branches of the military. Some of the Space Force displays include scenes from movies and TV shows that popularized the idea of space travel. The Delta, the symbol representing the Space Force, is reminiscent of the Star Trek logo. I find it interesting that members of the Space Force are called “Guardians.”

It was also very interesting to learn about what happened at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Most of what I have heard about 9/11 concerns the “Twin Towers” in New York City, but today I learned about what happened at the Pentagon. We walked through the repaired halls of the building where the plane tragically struck the building. We also viewed the memorial for those who lost their lives. When we walked into the memorial, I noticed that the windows are tinted yellow, which gave the room a green tint. I asked Officer Jackson why the windows are such a strange color, and he told me that the tinting blocks out laser microphones. He said that there have been times when cars would drive past, trying to listen to conversations in the memorial.

Emilia Lord

Never Forget

Today my class visited the Pentagon, guided by Officer Jackson, who has been there for fifteen years. My perspective on our country changed significantly as a result of our visit. We spent five hours exploring the building and learning about the deep-rooted principles and values of its military and law enforcement employees. Officer Jackson shared his experiences there, including providing security in the days after 9/11, and he talked about tragedies faced by officers working at the Pentagon. There are many men and women there who put their lives on the line every single day for our safety, which I did not truly understand or appreciate until today. It is astonishing how many people and resources are devoted to responding to emergencies. While the Pentagon recognizes numerous individuals whose contributions have significantly influenced our daily lives, those names are often unknown by the public.

We visited the section of the Pentagon that was attacked on 9/11. The walls of this section are covered with photos, quotations, and remembrance quilts that honor the civilians and military personnel who lost their lives that day. There is a small memorial that includes personal descriptions of those who died that day in the exact spot where we stood. Reading through the pages of descriptions, seeing pictures of the 184 victims (between the ages of three and seventy one), and reading their stories is heartbreaking. Most Americans are familiar with the saying “Never forget.” The Pentagon is more than just a military building. It stands as a physical symbol of those military personnel and civilians who risked and lost their lives, and every victory won by people we may not know, but who will never be forgotten.