As our nation approaches the anniversary of one of the worst days in our history; my prayer is that each one of us will take the time to reflect and remember the men, women and children that were taken from us that day in vicious attacks on our country.
My husband, Paul and I were talking about that day recently and remembering where we each were when we realized what was happening. Paul was at work and I was at college.
I will always remember being in the the student center when it was announced that a plane had just struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. We watched in shock and disbelief as the second plane struck the south tower at 9:03am. At 9:37am a third plane struck the Pentagon. Then we were told that a fourth plane was still in the air.
I remember vividly one of my fellow students crying and rushing out because she was so fearful for her children. At that time no one knew for sure where that plane was destined to strike, but they did know it was headed for Washington DC, which meant its path would have taken it directly over the top of us. We would soon find out that plane was Flight 93.
The husband of another of my fellow students worked as a firefighter at the Pentagon. He received a broken ankle when that plane crashed, but he continued to work heroically attempting to save lives.
A couple we went to church with were both flight attendants. The wife worked for American Airlines and her regular flight was one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center. They had tried for several years to become pregnant and weren’t able to, that is until 2001. She happened to be out on maternity leave on Sept 11, 2001; therefore her life was spared.
In talking and remembering that tragic day, Paul and I decided to make a trip to see the memorial that has been built at the site of the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
It lies in a beautiful, hilly area of Pennsylvania. The countryside is dotted with small farms and homes The nearest community is Shanksville, with a population of 235. It is hard to imagine how shocking and scary that tragic morning, almost 15 years ago must have been to all those living nearby.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by signs designating the area and giving some history of that day.
The Memorial building sits on a small hill overlooking the site of the crash. To your left as you enter there is a large window looking out over the meadow and the planes final resting place. As you move on you follow a timeline of all of the events that occurred that fateful morning leading up to the downing of the plane. There are also artifacts from the plane, passengers and first responders enclosed in cases for viewing.
One wall contains four phones which you can pick up and listen to some of the actual phone messages left by passengers for their loved ones. This is heart wrenching; I can’t imagine being able to stand there and listen without tears forming in your eyes or rolling down your cheeks.As we near the anniversary of September 11, 2001, remember those that lost their lives and why. #Sept11 #memorial Click To Tweet
An outside viewing area on the far end of the building is built to line up exactly with the path of the plane. As you look down you will see the Memorial Wall that was built, which also lines up with the path of the plane. A short distance from the end of the wall you will gaze upon a large boulder which was placed there as a memorial at the actual spot the plane struck the ground.
The area all around the boulder is hallowed ground and visitors are not allowed to walk upon it. Family members are the only ones that are allowed to do so.
From the Memorial Building you can drive or walk down to what is called the Memorial Plaza which contains a visitor shelter and walkway along the edge of the debris field leading to the Memorial Wall. The names of all of the passengers and crew that lost their lives on Flight 93 are inscribed on the wall.
The entire experience is very emotional and humbling. Even though it is difficult to relive that terrible morning, to see the items and hear the voices you will be exposed to at the memorial, I believe it is vitally important that we do so.
We must never forget what these vicious radical Islamic terrorists took from our nation and what they continue to strive to take from us.
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