The heroism of the 40 men and women who helped avert one of the September 11th attacks is celebrated in the rural Pennsylvania field in which their plane crashed.
It’s impossible to ignore the emotions that run deep at the Flight 93 National Memorial, which simultaneously commemorates and celebrates the heroic victims of September 11th, 2001. It is in this field that the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 intentionally crashed their plane after an attempted hijacking that appeared to be headed for the Capitol Building. The memorial and Visitors Center celebrate their incredible sacrifice in heart-rending detail. Make the pilgrimage to this remote site to pay respect to the bravery of these men and women.
Walk up the hill to the site of the Visitors Center and Memorial Plaza at the heart of the more than 2,200 acres (890 hectares) that make up the entire expanse of the National Memorial. In the Visitors Center see artifacts left behind as well as memorials put here immediately after the crash. Listen to the heart-breaking last calls made by some of the passengers to their friends and family. Be aware that young children may be overwhelmed by the content.
Outside at the Memorial Plaza, walk along the Wall of Names, which is aligned beneath the path of the flight. Each panel is engraved with the name of a different passenger or crew member.
Listen to the free audio guide, accessible from personal cell phones. Return home or linger at the site among the memorial groves, each with 40 trees, planted around the huge tribute to these brave people.
Flight 93 National Memorial is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, a 5-minute drive from the nearby town of Shanksville. Drive from Pittsburgh in about 90 minutes or from Washington, D.C. or Baltimore in about 3 hours. Accommodations are available in the small towns that surround the site, but it is a fairly rural area. Park at a fair distance from the memorial itself and ride a shuttle bus to the site. There is no entrance fee.
The Memorial Plaza is open from sunrise to sunset. Both the plaza and the Visitors Center are on an exposed hillside, so dress appropriately for the day’s weather.