Monday, October 10, 2011

Shanksville, Pennsylvania: Flight 93 Memorial

This was our second visit to the spot where Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. It might not be the last.

We visited a short time after the tragedy, driving through some back and dirt roads to arrive at a viewing spot that almost seemed homemade and thrown up very quickly. It still carried a great deal of emotion with it for anyone who visited.

Years later, the National Park Service has been working on a permanent tribute. The land between the crash site and U.S. Route 30 has been purchased and bulldozed into shape. A road winds to a parking area, which borders some kiosks and a small pavilion. Phase one formally opened on Sept. 11, 2011. (See the NPS site here.)

From there, visitors take a five-minute walk to the crash site. You see the wall above, with each portion marked with the name of a passenger who died in the incident. It's more reflective than emotional, but that's fine. It works pretty well.

Plans are in the works to add a visitors' center a short distance from the site, and to add trees along a new walkway. They are trying to raise money for the project.

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