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9/11 victim's memorial moved to nation's medical museum

By NMHM Public Affairs

SILVER SPRING, Md. - Karen Wagner had been reporting for duty at the Pentagon for just more than a month on the morning of September 11, 2001, and by all accounts, she had reached a zenith in her long career as an Army Medical Service Corps officer. Positioned to exploit her unique skills in human resources and personnel management, she was set to continue her 17 years of Army service as the Medical Personnel Officer, Office of the Army Surgeon General, with duty as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel.

But Wagner was killed that morning along with 188 other Americans. Wagner was the only Army Medical Department officer to lose her life during the 9/11 attacks.

A memorial dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel Karen J. Wagner was erected at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2003 when the gymnasium there was named in her honor. The memorial, inscribed with her name and notable accomplishments, remained there even after the hospital was closed in 2011 until this month, when it was relocated to the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) in Silver Spring, Maryland.

NMHM is the Department of Defense's national medical museum, founded as the Army Medical Museum in 1862, and was relocated itself from the former Walter Reed in 2011. NMHM is an element of the Defense Health Agency.

Wagner spent seven years of her 17-year Army career at Walter Reed. She served as the Medical Center Brigade's executive officer and secretary of the general staff of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command.

The monument and two granite benches were placed on the museum's front sidewalk leading to NMHM on Sept. 11, 2015 – the 14th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attacks in American history. Visitors to the museum on the attack's anniversary watched as the rigging crew gently placed the memorial into its new location.

"The memorial is a testament to LTC Wagner and her commitment to duty," said Adrianne Noe, Ph.D. "Having the memorial at NMHM, where it will be seen by our visitors even before they reach our doors, sets a tone for their visit to this museum that honors the future, present and past of military medicine. We are glad to have this here to remember Wagner and honor her service to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center community."

The effort to relocate the memorial was initiated by the Office of the Army Surgeon General, LTG Patricia A. Horoho.

Wagner was posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart. Wagner was 40 at the time of her death.

Learn more about LTC Wagner at the Pentagon Memorial: http://pentagonmemorial.org/explore/biographies/ltc-karen-j-wagner-usa.

 

 

Caption: Memorial dedicated to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Karen J. Wagner, killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The memorial was relocated to the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) on September 11, 2015 from the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where it had been since dedicated there in September 2003.

(National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: Close-up view of memorial dedicated to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Karen J. Wagner, killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The memorial was relocated to the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) on September 11, 2015 from the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where it had been since dedicated there in September 2003.

(National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: A rigging crew carefully moves a memorial dedicated to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Karen J. Wagner, killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The memorial was relocated to the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) on September 11, 2015 from the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where it had been since dedicated there in September 2003.

(National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)
Caption: A rigging crew carefully sets in place a memorial dedicated to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Karen J. Wagner, killed at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The memorial was relocated to the National Museum of Health and Medicine (NMHM) on September 11, 2015 from the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where it had been since dedicated there in September 2003.

(National Museum of Health and Medicine photo by Matthew Breitbart / Released)