As the 18th anniversary of 9/11 is upon us, I can’t help but think about that terrifying day. It feels like it was only yesterday. I was just a kid, sitting at lunch, watching as other kids started getting picked up. The cafeteria was almost bare, but I had no idea why until I stepped foot inside my 6th-grade math class.
It was there that I learned something was wrong. My teacher was bawling and as she told us what was happening, I became so scared. Planes went down in NYC, one hit the Pentagon, and one hit just 45-miles away from our school.
Thankfully, we were sent home soon after that, but I still remember being so scared. As I sat at home watching the television, I became glued to what I was seeing. It all looked so fake. I kept hoping they would find more people alive, but they didn’t.
18 years ago today, I was just 11 years old. Too young to fully realize what was happening to our county, but I was terrified. The moment my math teacher came in, bawling, and telling us planes had hit buildings and one crashed less than 45 miles from us, all I could think was of my family who lived in the same vicinity of the flight 93 crash.
As the days went on, I remember the country felt like a different place. Our country was in unity. Sells of the American flag were never better. And, my family turned to God to make sense of what was happening. We stopped watching violent movies and we thought twice about going to a city.
Flight 93 Memorial in Shanskville, Pennsylvania
Since that terrible day, I have visited the site of the Flight 93 crash and memorial site more times than I can count. As a child, I visited almost right after the attacks and have seen a common field be turned into a field of honor.
For those who can handle it, the somber memorial is one that is hard to visit. One that changes your perspective on life and one that will make sure ‘we NEVER forget’.
Located on Lincoln Highway and just two miles from the actual town of Shanksville, the Flight 93 Memorial is located on a field that will forever be remembered as a field of honor.
Since the actual 911 attacks, there are a lot of highway signs to help visitors find the Flight 93 Memorial.
A common field one day. A field of honor forever.
What You Should Know About the Flight 93 Memorial Before You Go:
- Admission and parking are free, but do expect it to be busier near 9/11.
- It’s a very emotional experience. Pictures of Flight 93 heroes are everywhere and there are televisions with real 9/11 footage playing, as well as actual last-call recordings made by the victims of Flight 93.
- Guest can purchase a 9/11 gift from the gift shop inside.
Flight 93 Memorial Museum
If you can handle it, the Flight 93 museum is one of the most emotional parts of the Flight 93 Memorial.
Since its such a moving experience, guest are asked to be respectful of others. Inside of the museum, guest of all ages can feel like they are back on Septemeber 11th, 2001.
Inside, televisions play actual footage of newscast from that terrible day. Pictures are flashed on-screen of the towers and guest can learn about the heroes who sacrificed their lives to save many more.
As you walk, you listen to real phone calls that victims of Flight 93 made to their loved ones in their last moments.
Outside the museum, you can see the field where Flight 93 went down and check out the timeline of events from 9/11 that is engraved into the ground as you walk.
Flight 93 Memorial – Wall of Names
The Wall of Names features 40 inscribed marble panels that tell the names of each of the victims of Flight 93. The Wall of Names marks a portion of the crash site and allows visitors to see the flight path to the impact site.
Memorial Plaza Wall and Walkway
The Memorial Plaza Wall and Walkway is the final resting place for the victims of Flight 93. This is the part of the Flight 93 Memorial that allows users to use their cell phones for a tour and allows users to leave tributes.
This is also the part of the Flight 93 Memorial that offers benches for rest and is usually the location where the Septemeber 11th event takes place every year.
While there is also a newer Tower of Voices exhibit, I have yet to actually visit it. But I do recommend checking it out before your visit. The 93-foot tall musical tower has 40 wind chimes, that represent each victim, and rings out to represent the serenity of the site.
To learn more about this emotional memorial or to visit it, click here.