15 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.
At the time I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t good. Our school sent us home early that day – at least the ones that didn’t already go home. The time I got home, I watched my family glued in the front of the tv and saw the first glimpse of the world trade centers. It looked unreal. For days, my family set glued in front of the tv and, for a while, we became the family watching I Love Lucy reruns and started going to church as often as possible. Flags waved high from all heights and, for the only time in my life, I saw flags hung on almost every house, car and landmark.
Now 15 years later, there are many too young to remember 9/11. But for me, I’ll always remember it as the day our country survived real Hell on earth.
My kids are too young to even know about September 11th 2001, but that didn’t stop my family from visiting the flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, PA.
Although, I’ve visited the memorial about once every year since the attacks, this year’s visit was the first since the newly redesigned memorial had opened.
Located on Lincoln Highway and just two miles from the actual town of Shanksville, the Flight 93 Memorial is surrounded by farm lands. In fact, it was once just a field itself.
A common field one day. A field of honor forever.
What to Know Before You Go:
The Flight 93 Memorial admission is free for all ages.
The memorial does offer small gift shop where guest can purchase souvenirs and sign up for tours.
Due to the nature of the Flight 93 Memorial there is a strong possibility you will cry.
The 9/11 memorial is a 2-part memorial. One part a museum and the other, a wall of names.
Part 1: Memorial Museum
The Flight 93 Memorial Museum is the most moving and educational part of the memorial. Set up in a way that any age can understand what happened on 9/11, the museum is a must for any visitor.
Walking in the museum, you are immediately taken back to 9/11. The TV is on. President Bush is giving his speech and the World Trade Centers, Pentagon and Shanksville is flashing over and over on the TV screens. Continue walking and you will find yourselves on board United Flight 93. You will see what the actual seats of Flight 93 looked like. And, if you’re strong enough, you can listen to the last words from some of those aboard that fateful flight.
If you’re eyes are still tear-less, walk a bit further. Pictures scour the walls memorializing the 40 victims of United Flight 93 who died that day.
Walk outside the museum and you are given the a breathtaking view of the field where Flight 93 crashed. On your walk, be sure take the time and read the engraved timeline that tell you the exact moments of 9/11.
Wall of Names:
Walk down (or drive) a beautiful path with a gorgeous view and you will come upon a small area where you can leave gifts or flowers for the victims of United 93. Follow on and you will soon end up at the Wall of Names, a large walkway dedicated to those who died that fateful day. Each wall has a name of one survivor who died that day. This area is completely shade-less, so on a hot day be prepared to work up a sweat.
This area is a self-guided experience. Visitors can use their phones for a mobile phone tour.
The Flight 93 Memorial Park is an amazing, tearful experience! Have you ever been to one of the 9/11 memorials or do you have a story to tell? I would love to hear it in the comments below or as part of a guest submission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org