ARLINGTON, Va. – In a single casket, remains that symbolically represent all 184 victims of the attack on the Pentagon were buried with full military honors Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery, the resting place of the nation's unknown soldiers.
In a quiet postscript to the nation's Sept. 11 observances, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld eulogized the dead as patriots who died "here at home, not on a faraway battlefield."
He offered special condolences to the families of five victims whose remains were never identified, including 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg, who died aboard American Airlines Flight 77.
"Today, these five join the unknown of past wars even as we pursue the war that is still unfolding," Rumsfeld said, standing next to the flag-draped casket.
A granite monument with five sides, like the Pentagon, will be placed over the grave next week. It will stand on a hill with a tree-dappled view of the spot where the hijacked jet smashed into the Pentagon.
Names of all 184 victims are inscribed on the 4-foot-5-inch-tall marker.
"It cries out, do not forget. Do not forget, Americans," Brig. Gen. James T. Spivey Jr. said in his funeral address.
Some 1,000 relatives of victims sat solemnly, some hugging and weeping, many holding pictures of their loved ones, as the crowd sang "Amazing Grace" on Thursday.
After the funeral, a caisson drawn by six horses carried the casket behind the U.S. Army Band and two platoons of service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
The service marked the end of a year of Sept. 11 burials at Arlington.
Individual funerals from the Pentagon attack began here on Sept. 25; the last was April 9. In all, 64 of the dead had already been buried at Arlington, most of them next to the site of the new monument.
Many other victims, including some who were working inside the Pentagon on Sept. 11, did not qualify for an individual burial site at the nation's most prestigious cemetery, which is limited to active duty personnel and certain former service members.
All the cremated remains buried Thursday were determined to have come from victims, because they did not have a genetic trait shared by the terrorists, said Chris Kelly, spokesman for the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
Some of the remains buried could not be linked to an individual victim. Others were identified after a victim had been buried, and were included in the shared grave at the family's request.
The hijackers' remains were turned over to the FBI in February. Any other remains, such as ash, that could not be partially identified as victims were disposed of by the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Kelly said, to ensure that no terrorists were committed to hallowed ground.
Donna Teepe buried her husband, retired Lt. Col. Karl W. Teepe, in a similar Arlington service on Oct. 15, when she was still too dazed to note the bugler playing taps and other ceremonial flourishes.
"I missed a lot of it," she said, watching hundreds of other family members line up to file by the shared casket. "It's good to see it now."