The Fairfax County Memorial Grove, which commemorates the 9/11 attacks, was designed by National Park service architect Michael McMahon. The Grove was the first to be built on public land, which was the result of collaboration on both local and federal levels from an area where residents were personally affected by the tragedy. The memorial is located at the Fairfax County Government Center, overlooking a lake. The area was designed to provide the opportunity for reflection. Within the grove is a commemorative plaza. Within the plaza is aggregate stone taken from the lake. The stone has been worn smooth by the water, representing a healing process and the calming properties of water, and the plaza is circular to indicate the cyclical nature of life.
Plants to fill the grove were chosen carefully. The color scheme patriotic: white dogwood flowers, red holly berries, and Colorado Blue Spruces. There are also a number of plants native to Virginia, to emphasize pride in the natural and cultural heritage of Fairfax, and to commemorate those lost in Virginia when the Pentagon was attacked. These include the Virginia Sate Tree and Virginia State Flower.
An important aspect of the memorial grove is that it is living. It requires nurturing and will grow and flourish over time, and serve to help heal the citizens of Fairfax County, and all who stop and visit.