Originally posted after Memorial Day weekend, 2008
This holiday weekend was spent with ‘the outlaws’ in rural PA. About an hour East North-east of the Pitts. On Sunday, we drove about 75 miles to the field north of Shanksville that was the crash site of Flight 93 on 9/11.
“A common field one day – a field of honor forever”
For now there’s a couple of parking areas and the temporary memorial- staffed by a dedicated team of local resident volunteers and National Park Service staff. We stood about a third of the way down a large slope with about two dozen other people. We saw vehicles from many states, and at least one couple from Ontario who were on a regular visit to Gettysburg who decided this year to make a detour here. There were almost as many bikes as cars, and many of the momentos on the temporary memorial wall (as well as some of the permanent stone markers) were from bikers across the country.
There’s a temporary cabin- barely six by eight- with information on the permanent memorial. The first phase should be open in time to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Behind that is the temporary memorial- in front if it is an area with a dozen or so chairs that looks out over forty markers- each bearing the name of one passenger or crew member; many with personal touches. Looking down the hill to the left, at the bottom are a couple of ponds. Further away, and to the right, is a metal fence with a large Stars & Stripes – Holy Ground.
The above description is dry and factual- there are no words to express what I felt. All the deaths on that day were tragic but there’s something about the story of those people on that plane making the decision they did…
there are no words.