SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Lid (left) and fragment in box (right).
Transcript: GOD BLESS AMERICA



Location: Pentagon
Source: Gift of G. Penny Elgas and American Airlines


Related Objects



Airplane fragment in patriotic box
Description: Penny Elgas built a patriotic box to preserve this piece of American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.

Context: Driving on a highway adjacent to the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, Penny Elgas stopped as she saw a passenger jet descend, clip a light pole near her, and then crash into the Pentagon. Arriving home, Elgas found this plane fragment in the back seat of her car (she theorizes that it dropped through the open sunroof). Feeling that it was her patriotic duty to preserve the fragment as a relic, she crafted a special box and lined it with red, white, and blue material.

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Detail of airplane fragment.
This piece of a Boeing-757, American Airlines Flight 77, was torn from the plane as it clipped a light pole on approach to the Pentagon. All fifty-three airplane passengers, six crew members, and five hijackers were killed in the crash.
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Statement from Penny Elgas
Personal Experience At The Pentagon on September 11, 2001 By Penny Elgas I had an early appointment on September 11th, so I drove to work later than usual. I work at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation near the White House. I headed north [...]
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Donation of airplane fragment
G. Penny Elgas presents her airplane fragment and the box she made for it to National Museum of American History curator William Yeingst.

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