This Memorial Day, as we solemnly remember the ultimate sacrifices made by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces to protect our freedoms, the Washington Post runs a fascinating excerpt from Steve Vogel’s upcoming book, The Pentagon: A History. The excerpt explains how the iconic Pentagon building originated during our country’s nervous, reluctant preparations for the second world war. The design—originally driven by practicality and necessity—remains among my favorite building layouts. I have a Pentagon pass and go there two or three times each month, and—while it took some getting used to—I still love and appreciate the building’s sheer efficiency and simplistic beauty.