Memorial co-designer Julie Beckman says the design is intended to evoke similar sentiments among other visitors to the new memorial. "This is where those 184 people, this was the last place that they lived. We wanted to make a place for people to come and remember, reflect, and renew."
Adds Kaseman, "You can get up close to it and it's something you can sit on and have a relationship with, that's much different than you can with the building."
The memorial will be open to visitors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But that accessibility poses a unique challenge to those tasked with protecting a Pentagon building where security measures were significantly increased in the wake of 9/11.
"We want to respect the intent of the memorial to be a solemn area but at the same time keep a high level of security here," says Chris Layman, a spokesman for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency. "That's our challenge."
Among the security compromises, visitors will not be allowed to park at the Pentagon and are encouraged to use the Washington subway system.
Though now open to the public, the fundraising effort to pay off the memorial will continue. So far, $19 million of the memorial's $22 million construction costs have been donated and an additional $10 million is needed to fund an endowment to maintain the memorial.