A Field of Honor Forever. The Flight 93 Memorial

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An incredibly beautiful, peaceful and quiet memorial. It’s hard to accept that 40 people taking what started out as a routine flight, ended up plunging into a field in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

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Even on a very cloudy and rainy day, it was remarkable how many cars were in the parking lot. From all over. NY IN OH TN WVa CT. Cars. Campers. RVs. Motorcycles.

Oldsters like us. Families, grandparents with ‘tweens and many couples who looked like they were in their 20s. Lots of couples holding hands, maybe holding on for emotional support. It was moving.

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We were greeted by a volunteer who set us on the right path, what to see and in what order.
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The gray stone path leads guests to the overlook and also the Visitor Center.
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The memorial is two-fold – from up above, looking down at the field and impact site. Here I am at the glass etched railing, looking down.
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An overview of the memorial.
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I was fascinated that there were so many families with young kids and I wanted to ask one of the moms or dads what they had told their kids about the memorial, about terrorism. I didn’t find anyone I felt would be comfortable answering so I passed.

This photo in particular intrigued me. The boy in the yellow parka here is listening to last calls made by people on the plane. There’s a sign nearby warning parents that the content may be disturbing so either the family forewarned the kids (the daughter went next) or the parents didn’t feel the phone calls would be emotionally disturbing. So I asked myself WWMD? (What Would Martha Do?)
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The faces of the lost. Very poignant. An interactive computer screen for each person, their photos, their tributes.
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A very well used box of kleenex. I brought my own.
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And this, I was shocked actually, at the crassness of selling Flight 93 sweatshirts. Who would buy it????????????????????

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From the visitor center, it was a drive down to the lower level to the impact field and the wall of names. There’s also a winding walking path down to the lower level but the clouds were ominous so we drove.

The laying of a wreath ceremony site.
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Looking back up to the Visitor Center.
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The quarter mile path to the wall of names.

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A 17-ton boulder is placed at the impact site. I purposely didn’t take a close-up photo, preferring the long range, of the blossoming wild flower field and green of life.

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Two women did walk down the path, only to get caught in a quick downpour.

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The wall of names.

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As I said in the beginning, the site is incredible peaceful, which would be exactly what I would want had I lost family on that flight. Renewal abounds, even in the abundant bird life around.
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In the distance, the Meyerdale Wind Farm.

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I got up close and personal with those wind turbines coming to the Memorial on Route 30. Lots of local news articles about how these turbines are killing bats and that’s not a good thing but I suppose the upside is what electricity it is producing.

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In some way it was nice that the weather was cloudy. It was almost more suiting to the mood of the venue. I give it a ten out of ten. A must see, even though, quite honestly, it is freaking in the middle of nowhere.

9 thoughts on “A Field of Honor Forever. The Flight 93 Memorial

  1. Thanks for touring and sharing. I do know someone who’s brother-in-law died on that flight. I’ll have to ask how many family members have visited the Memorial.

    1. Oh dear. Sorry to learn that.

      I couldn’t help but think how long those passengers knew they were doomed. It’s torturous to know they suffered emotionally for so long.

      1. Eerily enough, have 3-different friends who lost family members in the three 9/11 locations. It really has had an impact on all of us. I took me years before I went to ground zero. I never wanted to see it while it was “the pit” and I’ve only been to the outdoor 9/11 Memorial, I have not wanted to go to the museum, as yet.

        1. That is eerie. Like many people up here, I lost a few friends in the towers but not in any airplane downed nor the Pentagon. I don’t think the impact goes away.

          The top of the new tower is amazing though. Very tough to do, scary to be up there, but glad I did it. The museum is superb.

  2. Thanks for posting your tour. The photo that got me was of the house and red barn up on the hill. They must have been the first to see and hear the crash. I’m not sure I could get over that in my head.

    It’s good to see so many families there. I figure parents DO have conversations with their kids about terrorism – it’s in the news every day. As for listening to the last phone calls, that’s something even I couldn’t do.

    Did you go to Fallingwater today?

    1. Betty, I didn’t listen to the phone calls either. I felt it was too painful.

      Such a long convoluted story re Fallingwater but short answer, no.

      We started out expecting to go but Tuesday late afternoon trying to buy tickets online, my Chrome made the tickets webpage all jumbled. I clicked submit to buy tickets before seeing (a) I I typed my email address wrong and (b) without accepting terms and conditions. When I went back to correct my address and click the other, by hitting submit again, my credit card rejected it, assuming there was fraud. By this hour, the ticket office was closed and because it was closed all day Wednesday, I couldn’t call and get tickets for today.

      It was cold and foggy and misting this morning so it was a coin toss – do I wait til the office opens and see if I can get tickets, which would mean not at least until the 11:00 tour because where we were was almost an hour away from the house….or come home and go there on a separate junket. The latter won. The friends I know who have gone say it’s good to plan a half day there – two hours for the in-depth tour and two+ hours walking the grounds and browsing. Had we gone at 11 and not left until 3, it would mean 7+ hour drive home late.

  3. I lost one of my USNA classmates at the Pentagon. Other ones you understand & accept as part of the job – carrier accidents, helo crashes, Iraq. But to be killed at your desk at the Pentagon with your first kid on the way – that was a tough one to deal with.

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