Dulles TSA staff unveil 9/11 artifact with solemn ceremony

A black shroud with an image depicting the terror attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, includes the Roman numeral 2,997 representing the number of victims killed on Sept. 11. A damaged piece limestone from the attack at the Pentagon was unveiled at Dulles International Airport on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A black shroud with an image depicting the terror attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, includes the Roman numeral 2,997 representing the number of victims killed on Sept. 11. A damaged piece of limestone from the attack at the Pentagon was unveiled at Dulles International Airport on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)

A limestone tablet from a a wall at the Pentagon damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks is unveiled at Dulles International Airport. Staff with the Transportation Security Administration held a ceremony to dedicate  the stone tablet on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A limestone tablet from a a wall at the Pentagon damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks is unveiled at Dulles International Airport. Staff with the Transportation Security Administration held a ceremony to unveil the stone tablet on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)

A limestone tablet from a a wall at the Pentagon damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks now lies on display at Dulles International Airport. Staff with the Transportation Security Administration held a ceremony to unveil the stone tablet on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A limestone tablet from a a wall at the Pentagon damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks now lies on display at Dulles International Airport. Staff with the Transportation Security Administration held a ceremony to unveil the stone tablet on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)

A plaque next to a piece of limestone from the Pentagon damaged in the Sept. 11 terror attacks recalls Dulles International Airport's role in the attacks. The plane that flew into the Pentagon took off from Dulles. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A plaque next to a piece of limestone from the Pentagon damaged in the Sept. 11 terror attacks recalls Dulles International Airport’s role in the attacks. The plane that flew into the Pentagon took off from Dulles. (WTOP/Kristi King)

(WTOP/Kristi King)
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A black shroud with an image depicting the terror attacks at the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, includes the Roman numeral 2,997 representing the number of victims killed on Sept. 11. A damaged piece limestone from the attack at the Pentagon was unveiled at Dulles International Airport on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A limestone tablet from a a wall at the Pentagon damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks is unveiled at Dulles International Airport. Staff with the Transportation Security Administration held a ceremony to dedicate  the stone tablet on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A limestone tablet from a a wall at the Pentagon damaged during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks now lies on display at Dulles International Airport. Staff with the Transportation Security Administration held a ceremony to unveil the stone tablet on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (WTOP/Kristi King)
A plaque next to a piece of limestone from the Pentagon damaged in the Sept. 11 terror attacks recalls Dulles International Airport's role in the attacks. The plane that flew into the Pentagon took off from Dulles. (WTOP/Kristi King)

DULLES, Va. — In anticipation of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States later this month, a relic recovered from the Pentagon was unveiled Thursday at Dulles International Airport.

The limestone tablet shows damage from the attack. It’s 31 inches long, 14 inches deep, 4 inches high and weighs approximately 110 pounds.

“To have that here to remind us of our mission every day, is very important,” said Transportation Security Administration program analyst Preston Mica after the solemn unveiling ceremony.

American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon after taking off from Dulles.

“Along with Newark Liberty International Airport and Boston Logan (International) Airport — Washington Dulles Airport will forever be known as the 9/11 airports,” said Bob Humphrey, the TSA’s transportation security manager at Dulles.

Humphry said a commitment to the critical mission of protecting the flying public drove airport officials to obtain a piece of the wall of the Pentagon from the Sept. 11 attack to inspire TSA workers.

“To be permanently placed on display and venerated as a reminder of what had happened, who was lost and the importance of our mission,” Humphrey said.

The 9/11 attacks inspired Mica to work for the Transportation Security Administration, he said.

“I joined TSA to protect this county. So, to look on that piece knowing that what I’m doing is safeguarding our citizens — is very important,” he said while choking back tears.

For now, the stone is on display beyond the east security checkpoint near Gate 31.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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