Flight 93 memorial

Flight 93 memorial. It was a situation our country had not faced in 60 years. We were attacked on our own soil. Not even the presence of two mighty oceans kept us safe from extremist hell bent on teaching Americans a lesson. In a moment, every race, every gender, young and old alike had their mortality reviled to them in the most horrifying way. Images of the planes hitting the towers, the fire, the smoke and people taking their destiny into their own hands are likely to never be forgotten. The massive gaping hole in the Pentagon seemed like something out of a Hollywood alien attack movie.

But terrorism and its grisly results didn’t just happen in far off bustling metropolises that day. It was right here in Pennsylvania that the sleepy borough of Shanksville found itself in the national spotlight for the most tragic reasons. Forty souls on their way to San Francisco from Newark International Airport in New Jersey boarded Boeing 757 Flight 93. The plane was hijacked approximately 46 minutes after take-off. The passengers tried to take the plane back. Flight 93 crashed in a common field 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. There was nothing left but charred Earth. In the 10 years following those tragic events, people have flooded to the crash site making make-shift memorials, leaving notes, wreaths and trinkets in remembrance of the passengers and flight crew that perished that day.
According to the National Park Service website, on September 9, the temporary Flight 93 memorial will close for the final time. In observance of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, the permanent memorial will reopen on the same location for a weekend of dedication and commemoration and as an official part of the NPS. The list of events for the Saturday, September 10 Memorial Dedication service includes a musical tribute by songstress Sarah McLaughlin in the afternoon and a luminary lighting in the evening. Sunday, September 11 commemoration service will include a musical tribute and wreath laying. The park is open for the general public and all the events that weekend are free. For more information of the activities and schedule for that weekend visit the National Park Service website or the Flight 93 Memorial website.
This event will be simulcast live on the History Channel but being there live might be a more poignant experience. Although the more obvious feelings of patriotism have died down in the years following the terror attack, it may be well worth the 80 mile trip from Pittsburgh to Shanksville to be a part of this event. Its American history in the making, its Pennsylvania history in the making and it puts a human face on this tragedy. Citizens can stand side by side and mourn with and comfort one another. A united front once again, if just for a day.
Eventually, for the average American, September 11 will become just another day on the calendar, much like Pearl Harbor Day. The memorial services held for the tenth anniversary of 9/11 are an opportunity for reflection. All though life will move on, we should never forget the events that were intended to divide and destroy us. For a brief moment we were all rescuers and the rescued, we were mourners and comforters. “My Fellow Americans” was more than just a way to start a speech; it was a state of being. For a brief moment, we all felt a swelling in our chest every time we heard the National Anthem again. For a brief moment, American flags were more than just Fourth of July accessories. For a moment we were all New Yorkers, we were all Pennsylvanians, we were Americans and we were all Patriots.
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Source: examiner