9/11 memorial

Visiting the Flight 93 Memorial

September 11, 2001

 

A day that will be forever etched into the minds of everyone around the world. Most Especially for us in United States.

The day that the world collectively stopped and held their breath.

Afraid for the first time.

Attacked where we felt safest-

at home.

 

On flight 93 that day were everyday people doing an everyday thing, flying. Flying home, flying for work, just sitting back relaxing and headed to the opposite coast like people had done daily for many years.

But something was very far from normal that day. A hijacking..

 

Some blog posts are harder to write than others. This post is extremely difficult. How do I share with you the impact that visiting this memorial has had on me?

How to I convey the emotions that I felt? The sheer volume of everything -the pain, sadness, pride, fear, foreboding, and resolve cascading over me as I looked at all that these people did for our country? I will attempt to let you in the way it affected me.

9/11 memorial Shanksville

As we first approached the memorial,  we were down near the crash site itself. We could see the impression left in the field still to this day. It was a very surreal experience looking over that field, knowing what happened here as we heard planes flying overhead off in the distance.

But somehow the reality didn’t punch me in the gut just yet. That came a bit later.

9/11 memorial Shanksville

We wandered  through the displays of signs that chronicled the event.(slideshow of them below) It still wasn’t as real as it would become for me.

9/11 memorial Shanksville

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After this we drove to the top of the hill instead of walking up. It was quite windy and cold  for this Florida girl. It was December in Pennsylvania. Warm by their standards maybe but not mine. LOL

Outside was this relief map showing everything in the memorial.  It gave me more of a sense of location for everything.

9/11 memorial Shanksville

Then we walked inside..

9/11 memorial Shanksville

At first it was just like many of the other government run museums and memorials. The front desk manned by an older woman who more than likely volunteers her time. A small gift shop. Pamphlet racks. You get the idea.

 

But then….

A little further in, the recordings of the newscasts were playing. The sights and sounds of that day came rushing back.

Like a giant punch in the gut.

9/11 memorial Shanksville 9/11 memorial Shanksville

The whole experience was even more sobering the further I walked. The artifacts from the crash  on display. The words from the heroes (they were heroes in my mind, not victims)

9/11 memorial Shanksville

I slowly took it all in. I tried to photograph as much as possible for you, gentle readers. I know not everyone can visit this site but everyone deserves to see these things.

 

 

My brother and sister-in-law own property a few miles from the crash site. I was in awe to hear that debris from the crash was found further than that. In fact, occasional fragments are still being found to this day!

 

The one thing I Could Not Do was to listen to the voice recordings. Everyone on the plane made final phone calls to their loved ones knowing that they were going to die. Hoping against hope that they wouldn’t. I read the transcripts. That was hard enough.

 

I left there a changed person. I will never take for granted the mundane things in life.

 

If you have the opportunity to view the Flight 93 memorial, go. You won’t regret it. It will change you.

 

May we never forget!

 

 

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