Remembering United Flight 93
As part of our Fall, 2021 road trip east from Evanston, IL we drove through Pennsylvania to visit dear friends. Ten days after the 20th anniversary of 9/11 we visited the "Flight 93 National Memorial" in Stoystown, near Shanksville, PA. We will be in the Washington D.C. area and intended to visit the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial but due to COVID-19 it is closed to the public. We do have tickets to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.
The Flight 93 National Memorial consists of three site elements: The Visitor Center, the Memorial Plaza and the Tower of Voices Chime. These elements combine to create a tasteful and very impactful tribute to the 40 fallen heroes.
The Visitor Center is well organized with multimedia displays that document the events of that horrific day and its aftermath. Those who perished are tastefully honored.
The Memorial Plaza is located about 100 yards from the impact zone. There is a long granite wall inscribed with the names of the passengers and crew. The walkway along the wall traces the path of the plane as it descended towards the impact site. There is a slatted gate constructed of planks taken from the hemlock trees that had been destroyed by the fireball. Beyond the gate, near the tree line is a 17 ton boulder that has been placed as a memorial marker at the precise impact point. The boulder is also visible from the long walkway approach to the memorial wall but from a considerable distance [The photograph above is a stock photo].
The Tower of Voices is 93 feet tall (Flight 93) that holds 40 wind chimes representing the 40 passengers and crew. The official website describes its symbolism: The intent is to create a set of forty tones (voices) that can connote through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.