Flight 93 National MemorialFrom the new Visitors Center Complex to the Memorial Plaza, the entire Flight 93 National Memorial is a beautiful place of remembrance and honor recognizing the sacrifice made by the passengers of Flight 93. Whether your visit serves as a pilgrimage, a patriotic rite of passage, or merely a historical and educational experience, one thing is for certain, the memorial is incredibly thought provoking and emotionally moving. 
Do you remember where you were on that September day? On September 11, 2001, four commercial airliners were hijacked in a planned terrorist attack against the United States. The fourth plane, which was headed for the U.S. Capitol, was diverted by the passengers and crew and crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. “A common field one day, a field of honor forever.”

Flight 93 National MemorialFrom that moment on, Somerset County, the families and friends of passengers and crew, and the rest of the community have protected the land and worked to build a monument to honor those that gave their lives to thwart the attack. What was once a section of chain-link fence covered in mementos left by visitors has become a beautiful memorial and harrowing monument built mostly through fundraisers and with donations from families and friends of the passengers of Flight 93. The memorial has brought a unique union together, with State and Federal agencies, local communities, families of the passengers and crew, and the American people all united in an effort to create a memorial and honor the 40 heroes on board the flight.

Flight 93 National MemorialUnlike the memorials in New York and Washington, D.C. with a bustling city backdrop, Flight 93 National Memorial is in the middle of the striking and serene landscape of Somerset County. This difference makes the memorial a peaceful place of honor – a place to reflect. 

A walkway along the flight path of Flight 93 leads visitors to the Memorial Plaza, with the Wall of Names. The boulder that marks the actual crash site and final resting place of the passengers and crew can be seen from the plaza as well. 

Flight 93 National MemorialThe memorial has slowly grown and expanded, with the memorial plaza only completed in 2011, 10 years after the crash. Efforts to expand the memorial are ongoing. A 93 foot tower containing 40 wind chimes, the Tower of Voices, is set to be completed in 2017 near the entrance to the memorial. The most recent addition to the memorial is the self-guided visitor center complex, which houses a chronological display of the day’s events with artifacts from the crash, voice messages from the passengers left on loved one’s answering machines, flight paths, and other information about the flight and its passengers.

Flight 93 National MemorialWhile it has been nearly 15 years since that day, for many, the displays are all too familiar. The most striking feature of the visitor center is the window that looks out towards the crash site. The glass of the window projects outward, as a cockpit would. The effect is very moving as is a walk through the Visitor Center Complex, the Memorial Plaza, and the 40 Memorial Groves, one for each of the heroic passengers and crew of Flight 93.