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Flight 93 Memorial: A Day to Remember

Flight 93 National Memorial, National Park Service, September 11th, 9/11

Anyone old enough to remember September 11th, 2001 can tell you what they were doing when they heard the news. You might even still be able to picture the planes crashing into the World Trade Center in New York City. Or the plane that crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. 

You may even remember the story of Flight 93 that crashed into the Pennsylvania field on that historic day. A day that I know I will never forget. After all, I was getting ready to finish up Marine Corp Boot Camp in Parris Island, SC. 

In that field, in Pennsylvania they now have an amazing memorial dedicated to Flight 93. Find out about the story and what happened to the crew and passengers of that fateful flight. Forty-four people died (including 4 hijackers) but it prevented hundreds of deaths if the plane hit its intended target, the U.S Capitol Building in Washington DC. 

Tower of Voices

Tower of Voices, Flight 93, Memorial, September 11th, 9/11,

When you first pull into this amazing location on the left-hand side a road shoots off and heads towards the Tower of Voices. The tower is ninety-three feet tall (Flight number) and houses 40 (one for each passenger and crew member) wind chimes. It is said that each chime produces a different tone therefore you get forty different voices. 

It is a powerful and moving structure that you can’t miss as you pull into this National Memorial area. The area around the tower is beautiful and peaceful. It is definitely worth a quick stop.

Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center

Flight 93 National Memorial, National Park Service, September 11th, 9/11

From Lincoln Highway, the Visitor Center is a few miles down the road. It is a nice peaceful drive through rolling hills of Pennsylvanian wildflowers. You could just picture how quiet and peaceful it would have been on that September day in 2001. 

There is no fee to visit and explore the visitor center or the surrounding area. Once you enter the visitor center you will see the store right to your left. This is where you would get your national parks passport stamped. If you don’t have one I would buy one and start collecting your stamps today. 

There are also many other items available to purchase. From t-shirts, books, pins and more. This store and many others around the country, help the Flight 93 Memorial have no fee.

Once you pass the gift shop you will find the main exhibit. Follow the story of September 11th, 2001. Learn about when each plane left and what time each plane reached their final resting place. 

Hear the cockpit recordings. Observe all the tiny pieces of debris that remained from the forceful impact. See the faces of those forty brave souls that prevented Flight 93 from reaching its target.

Read eye witness accounts from that faithful day. See the items sent in from around the country to remember and honor the victims of 9/11. Take a moment for yourself to reflect. 

Flight 93, September 11th, 9/11, Memorial,

Say a prayer or have a little moment of silence for everyone on that tragic day. September 11, 2001, not only impacted the United States but also the world. Changes were made because of this day.

Memorial Plaza 

Wall of Names, Flight 93, September 11th, 9/11, Memorial
Wall of Names

The Memorial Plaza is located a short drive or hike from the visitor center. This is where you can walk along the quarter-mile long debris field and see the impact site. A large sandstone boulder now represents where Flight 93 crashed. 

Flight 93, September 11th, 9/11, Memorial Plaza,

When you first approach the Memorial Plaza from the parking lot you will see signs telling you the story of 9/11. There is also a Park Ranger nearby that is very knowledgeable and loves to answer questions. I forgot the name of the guy who was there on my most recent visit but he was very friendly and knowledgeable. 

From the forecourt, you will follow along the quarter-mile long walkway to the Wall of Names. It’s mind-blowing (at least to me) how vast the debris field is. There are plenty of beaches along the way to sit and reflect. 

There’s also an area where you can leave something small behind to pay your respects. Just remember to be respectful. This area is the final resting place of the forty brave passengers and crew of Flight 93.

When you reach the end of the walkway you will come up to the Wall of Names. The Wall of Names is forty individual polished marble stones with the crew and passenger’s names on them. It also represents the flight path and the final approach. Walk along to the end to see the sandstone boulder (impact site) and the hemlock grove that was damaged from the crash. 

September 11th, 2001 is a day many of us will remember for the rest of our lives. Some of us were just waking up to the news. Others were sitting in classrooms or driving to work. Or for some of us like me were at Boot Camp in Parris Island and had no idea why the DIs were so mad. It wasn’t until around 1700 (5pm) that we found out we were attacked and probably just prepared for war.

No matter what you were doing that day. It’s a day to never forget. A day to remember for the rest of your life. A day to tell your children or grandchildren about. There’s no better way than to take a visit to the Flight 93 Memorial. 

It may have just been a field one day. But it is now so much more. It really is worth a visit at least once. You won’t regret it.

Have you ever been to the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania? How about the one in New York City or in Washington, DC? Share your story in the comments below.

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Flight 93 National Memorial, National Park Service, September 11th, 9/11


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