The Pentagon is currently the Department of Defense headquarters. With all these, it is more than that. It is actually a symbol for the United States of America and among the few important buildings that people know this country for. The building is often used by the specialists to refer to the entire department and not to the building. It is located in the Arlington County, in the western part of Virginia. The building is the largest in the world if you count the floor area, with over 600K square meters. More than 23000 military troops and civilian employees work on site, not to mention about 3000 maintenance and non defense personnel. The building has 5 sides, hence the name. It also has 5 floors, plus two basement floors. Its middle is referred to as ground zero, since the paranoid Department of Defense was convinced that the Soviet Union will start a nuclear war by hitting the internal plaza first of all. No such things ever happened though. The place gained some popularity in the last decade after it was one of the few targets of Al Qaeda during the war against the western imperialism. A hijacked plane killed 189 people during the 9/11 attacks. 125 of them were working in the building. The hit occurred exactly six decades after the groundbreaking ceremony.
The construction was approved in the summer of 1941 and finished within months. Its first notable events took place in the ’60s, when a large group of civilians had the courage to protest against the abusive invasion of Vietnam. Things got more important a few years later, when more than 35000 protesters came at the Pentagon gates to ask for stopping the war. As the war became harsher and the Hanoi bombing attacks turned into a massacre, a group of American protesters managed to get inside the building and detonated a bomb on the fourth floor. If you count the protesting history, things haven’t stopped there. The invasion of Iraq came with a new round of protests, especially since the invasion was not called for. More than 10000 people got together to ask for stopping the fire in the spring of 2007. The oil hunger was more important though.
Starting with 1998, the Pentagon was taken through a massive round of improvements and upgrades. Most of them were done with defensive purposes. However, no matter how hard the Americans pushed for defense, they could not stop the deadly attacks of Al Qaeda that significantly changed the face of the USA. The hits came for a harsh birthday present. However, the building was not severely damaged, but 189 people were killed in the crash.
Some other negative events in the history of the Pentagon took place in 2010. On March, 4-th, a man was killed in a shooting fight with two police officers, who were also hurt. No one knows exactly what happened as there was only one version of the story. Later that year, in October, an armed individual starting to shoot at the actual building, but without causing any damage. The investigation still goes on. The man’s trial is for terrorism. He is an American.