On Sept. 11, Pentagon officials should have been celebrating the 60th anniversary of the day construction began on the massive office complex that houses the U.S. Department of Defense. Instead, rescuers battled to save the lives of Pentagon workers and preserve the building itself after terrorists crashed a plane into the structure.
After Sept. 11, tours of the Pentagon were suspended, but they are now open upon request. You can also take a virtual tour.
Construction of the Pentagon ended January 15, 1943, and the total cost of the building, one of the largest office complexes in the world, was $83 million. Repairs and renovations to the complex after the terrorist attack, however, could cost as much as $800 million, said Walker Evey, Pentagon renovation project manager, according to the American Forces Press Service.
DefenseLink is the public's main link to the Defense Department and U.S. military actions in Afghanistan. Learn more about our nation's Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Check out the photo gallery of Operation Enduring Freedom. DefenseLink's facts and figures section allows a peek into the CIA World Fact Book, which gives readers specifics such as climate and natural hazards of various countries, including Afghanistan.
DefenseLink provides a list of links to news, special reports and additional government organizations. Visitors can read a schedule of Department of Defense events each day. DefenseLink also offers transcripts of interviews and press briefings by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The Secretary often gives daily updates on U.S. military objectives. To learn more about Rumsfeld's life and military background, check out his biography.
At the Department of Defense's DefendAMERICA site, all divisions of the armed forces and their work in different parts of the world. While specifics about the targets of the war in Iraq were withheld for security reasons, the site does mention the cities where military action has already occurred.
Finally, don't be discouraged if a military site like DefenseLink is temporarily busy. With a major military campaign taking place half a world away, DefenseLink is one of the main sources of information for a concerned nation.