CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks approaching, Yeager Airport now displays a reminder of the horrific day.
A block of limestone recovered from the area of the western side of the Pentagon that was hit by the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 on Sept. 11, 2001 was displayed at the airport Tuesday following a dedication ceremony at the WV Air National Guard.
“To have that artifact here is a reminder of let us not ever forget what happened to us,” said former WV National Guard Adjutant Gen. Allen Tackett, who also serves on the Yeager Board.
TSA officials, law enforcement, military personnel and the Kanawha County Commission were on hand to dedicate the artifact. TSA Public Affairs Manager Lisa Farbstein said the piece would serve as a reminder to TSA officials as to the importance of their duty.
“It can really serve as a stark reminder to our TSA officers as to why they’re here and to the mission of TSA,” Farbstein said. “It all comes down to making sure that people get to their destinations safely and get home safely. Every day, this serves as a good reminder.”
Yeager Airport Spokesman Mike Plante was honored to have the artifact on display at the airport; he said such memories are not common in airports.
“There’s only a handful of airports across the country that have an artifact like this. The fact that it’s from the Pentagon has special significance for West Virginia, since we sent a higher percentage of our sons and daughters into military service. I think it adds a special level of significance.”
Tackett, who served as Adjutant General from 1995 to 2011, agreed that the piece has special importance to the military.
“It’s certainly a historic event for our country. But for people that served in the military, it was the beginning of a long journey that we’re still on,” Tackett said. “Every unit of the WV National Guard ended up going to war. Both our air wings, every Army unit; all of them have served.”
Following a procession from the Hangar base to the Yeager terminal, the block was displayed inside a case at the airport’s observation area with a plaque for travelers to see.
The artifact was made available through a loan from the Department of Defense to the West Virginia office of the TSA.