Amy Sprunger Photography

Flight 93 Memorial

Flight 93 Memorial

It has been over seventeen years since the 911 terrorist attacks on our country. Yet, visiting the memorials seems to bring back all of the feelings of the day that it happened.

A few weeks ago, Toby and I traveled to Somerset, PA for my lifelong friend, Brenda’s, surprise birthday party. On the list of things to do while we were there, was to visit the Flight 93 Memorial. As with you, I’ll never ever forget September 11, 2001. I was watching the news and heard that a plane was down in Somerset County, PA. I got on the phone with a very frantic, Brenda. Her husband was at work, their eldest daughter was in elementary school and their son was a pre-schooler. I will never ever forget Brenda saying, “I don’t know what to do. Should I go get Whitney from school? Should I let her stay there?” It was chaos and confusion, not only for the country but in the tiny town of Shanksville, PA, located in Somerset County.

Ten years ago, Brenda and I went to NYC together and visited the memorial there. Then a few years later we visited it again, this time Whitney was along. Both times it felt the same. Sad, somber and a little haunting. Brenda and Whitney have been to the Flight 93 Memorial many times over the years, as it’s local to them. The desolate field does have an eerie feeling about it. It truly is in the middle of no-where. The fact that the plane wasn’t taken down in a residential area or the fact that 40 brave crew and passengers decided to take it upon themselves to fight back, astounds me.

It was a frigid day when we were visiting. The museum itself was closed because of the government shut down. But we were able to walk the property with Brenda and Whit and we got a local’s perspective on the events. There are only a few houses in site of the location where the plane landed, one includes the red barn that was seen in much of the news footage following the event. The field itself is an old mining strip. There were very few eye witnesses to the attack but their local perspective is quite interesting (and one that I’m not going to go into here on the blog.)

Here are a few photos (with descriptions) that I took while we visited. May we never forget. And please, if you ever have the opportunity to visit any of the memorials from 911, I encourage you to do so. It’s a piece of our history.


When we arrived at the Flight 93 Memorial we parked by the Tower of Voices. This tower is still under construction. But it stands 93 feet tall in the desolate field where Flight 93 crashed on that horrific day. The tower of voices has a wind chime for each of the 40 voices that were silenced on that day. Click here to read more about the tower and to listen to what it will sound like upon completion.
The Flight 93 Visitors Center sits right inside these concrete walls. The concrete walls and the pathway that it creates represents the location of the flight path just before the crew took the plane down.
As we stood on this overlook we could see the very spot where Flight 93 made it’s final landing in the field. The only people allowed to walk out to the location, are family members and designation individuals. A very large boulder sits where the flight went down. In addition, there are slanted fences in place so that no-one can crawl over and get to the location. It is sacred ground.

Because the museum was closed, we could only see inside of it from the windows. These are the faces of Flight 93. In the photo on the right, you see a red barn. To see that barn with my own eyes, after seeing it on the news for weeks, really hit home. I simply can’t imagine being that family.

Christmas wreaths in place, as a reminder of the 40 lives lost.
The marble wall here lists each of the names of those who lost their lives. You may remember hearing about Todd Beamer. He is the man who was on an air-phone with a GTE Supervisor as the crew and passengers decided to take the plane down. His words of determination, “Let’s Roll” have gone down in history as being one one of the last phrases heard by one of the passengers. The name of Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas really hit me hard. Notice below her name, etched in marble is the tiniest victim of Flight 93, Lauren’s unborn child.
As we exited the memorial we saw the flags flying at half staff. This was still within the 30 days of President George W. Bush’s passing. The flags were flying at half staff in his honor. Yet, it truly would seem appropriate if the flags located on this property were always at half staff.


Comments are closed.

error: Protected content