Press/Journalists

Press Release
May 9, 2002


National Archives Presents Fine Art Facsimile of Declaration of Independence to Pentagon

College Park, MD. . . .The employees of the National Archives and Records Administration presented the Department of Defense with a gold framed full-scale fine facsimile of the Declaration of Independence to honor the memory of the 124 Federal employees who died in the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. The plaque that accompanied the document reads "The staff of the National Archives and Records Administration wishes to express its profound regret at the loss of so many of our fellow federal workers in the September 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon. We offer this facsimile of the Declaration of Independence as a silent reminder of the enduring freedoms that all Americans treasure."

Valerie Spargo, Director of the National Archives Financial Services Division who was formerly with the Army Budget Office at the Pentagon where many of the employees were killed, led the effort to identify a document that would express the collective grief of the employees of the National Archives. In selecting the Declaration of Independence, she said, "The Charters of Freedom have always held a special meaning for Federal employees. My colleagues at the Pentagon work every day to defend our nation's freedom. Therefore, the Declaration of Independence seemed a fitting tribute. Now on a daily basis, this source of inspiration will be visible to all the employees and visitors to the Pentagon."

The framed document presented to the Department of Defense is a fine art digital print made from a 1976 limited edition print of William J. Stone's 1823 copper engraving of the Declaration of Independence. The image was then scanned onto 100% cotton fine art paper for maximum stability.

The image from the Stone engraving is the most frequently reproduced version of the original because it was made before the Declaration suffered irreversible damage from fading in the 19th century. The original Stone copper plate will be on display at the National Archives July 4th festivities. The National Archives Building in Washington, DC is undergoing a major renovation. The building remains open for research, however the Rotunda is currently closed. The newly expanded exhibition and public program space will reopen in 2003.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail. Visit the National Archives Home Page on the World Wide Web at http://www.archives.gov.

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