This is a post published last year on 2 Wired 2 Tired Travels. I felt it fitting to republish it here today on the anniversary of September 11th.

When you hear the words 9/11 what flashes in your mind? Is it the picture of the plane hitting the second tower, the towers crashing down, the Pentagon on fire, or the smoldering remnants of Flight 93?

On a recent trip to Pennsylvania, Randy requested that we stop by the Flight 93 Memorial.

As you drive through the entrance you are immediately touched by the peacefulness of the surroundings. The 3 mile drive to the memorial are marked by fields of wildflowers and calming ponds.

Flight 93 FieldAfter we parked we noticed all the black: black sidewalks, black seating.

Flight 93 MemorialOff in the distance we could see slabs of white marble.

Flight 93 MemorialsOur first stop was the area temporarily set up with a written history of the day and pictures of all the people that were part of Flight 93’s story and their hometowns.

September 11th MemorialAs we began our meditative walk toward the marble stones we passed through acres and acres of wildflowers blowing in the gentle breeze. Every little while cut out of the black stone were receptacles for visitors to the park to place items that represented what the sacrifice of Flight 93 meant to that person. As we approached the marble I noticed that each one had a name on it representing the men and women on Flight 93.

Flight 93 Memorial Review

Flight 93We were fortunate enough that a park ranger was stationed in that area, as she was able to explain the significance of everything. The area was at one time a coal mine that is why the black stone forms the walkway.

The slabs of marble were each cut out of 40 individual marble pieces and than inscribed with each of the hero’s names. They were then placed not touching each other but with just inches of separation. This represents the fact that it was a group of individuals who do not know each other, who made a commitment to come together for the greater good.

September 11th Flight 93 MemorialThe marble stones were then located on the flight path of the airplane as it made its final hurdle to the ground. When it struck and exploded, the hemlock trees in the area were caught in the huge firestorm and burned. So they have placed at the end of the flight path a wooden gate made from hemlock. Each slate of the gate is the size of a railroad tie with space between to view the crash site.

Flight 93 September 11 MemorialThe site itself is marked by a large bolder and is not approachable by anybody except the families of the heroes. The reason for this is that this is the final resting place of those people aboard that plane that knew what they were facing and despite the danger for themselves carried through their one final act in this world.

Flight 93 Memorial ProjectThe architect for this park should be commended for the thoughtfulness placed into this project.

When the Flight 93 Memorial is completed it will be a fitting tribute to those courageous enough to do what I hope I would do in the same situation.