CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

September 7, 2008

FLIGHT 93 CRASH SITE MEMORIAL


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
FLIGHT 93 CRASH SITE MEMORIAL

     The following is a description of the Flight 93 Crash Site Memorial formed spontaneously following the September 11 events. The scene evolved over the years, and is now being moved in preparation for a major memorial construction.
     A small parking lot on the left side of Skyline Drive, Stoneybrook Township, has four Portapotties. Beyond them, on a distant hill, under high voltage lines spanning open fields, two obsolete cranes stretch skyward.
     A parking area on the right roadside abuts the Flight 93 Temporary Memorial site.
     Restrictions, enforced by the Somerset County Sheriffs Deputies, are posted: “No solicitation, concessions, brochures or advertisements; No installation of structure, permanent or otherwise; No planting of flowers, trees or shrubs; No loitering or overnight parking.”
     A sign on a gray hut donated by the Assateague Island National Seashore requests Please do not write on this shelter or on any other surfaces at the temporary memorial. You may record your thoughts in our visitor’s book or on the blank cards provided.
     Nonetheless, guardrails carry messages: Thank you for protecting us…GOD BLESS AMERICA; UNITED WE STAND; playwright Larry Myers “Utopia Rescheduled” God’s Crossward Puzzlement, Theater for (illegible) City, Plays about 9/11…and stickers—Schuylkill Haven Borough Police Department; a yellow ribbon asking visitors
“Support Our Troops…”
     A black marble tablet bordered in white-etched motorcycle drawings reads: “On September 11, 2001, the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 gave their lives. They made this choice so that an unknown number of people could live, people they never met. The people aboard Flight 93 gave the ultimate sacrifice. Motorcyclists from all over the free world leave this memorial as a tribute to you. Thank you for your Sacrifice. May
God bless you and your families… America’s 9/11 Ride Foundation, Inc.” 
     Another black marble plaque, surrounded by small American flags, patriotic silk flowers, two angel statuettes and small rocks, begins
“LET’S ROLL…IN MEMORIAM” and continues:
THOSE GALLANT PASSANGERS AND FLIGHT CREW MEMBERS OF UNITED
AIRLINES FLIGHT 93
THAT ON SEPTEMBER 11TH 2001. DEFEATED THE COWARD TERRORIST HIJACKERS AND THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE.
 
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS…FOR THEIR HEROISM HAS ALLOWED FREEDOM TO GO ON RINGING.
 
WE HONOR YOU…
                    WE ADMIRE YOU…
                                       WE SALUTE YOU…
                                                                       …AND WE SHALL NEVER FORGET
 
MAY THIS LAND REMAIN FOREVER… AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL.
 
GUATAMALA
 
     Dominating the site is a 40-foot long, 8-foot high, chain link fence covered with memorabilia. A fireman’s light-brown jacket, signed by Joe Black, First Lieutenant Tom Twerdy…et al, with Shanksville in reflective yellow letters, hangs spread-eagled on the fence. Other items include safety hats from Eaton Emergency Medical; Berlin VFD; Kiski Twnshp. VFD; and Stat Med Vac; license plates from the (Pa.) Antique Automobile, N. J. handicapped; Life Flt. Crew; and badges of Viet Nam Veterans, Westlake Police, and others.
     Messages—God Bless America; God Bless Flight 93; Thanks! Peace!; Remember, That day will never be forgotten; SOAR WITH THE EAGLES —are scattered among USA flags, teddy bears, ball caps and a multitude of other items, all continually reshaping the memorial marked by seven specially designed flags flying along the fence top.
     A signature book adds messages Praise God for Your Courage; Bless these Souls, Thank You All.
     A sign informs visitors of the work of the Historical & Genealogical Society of Somerset County: “We leave items at the memorial for as long as weather permits. If you left a tribute and it is no longer here, we have preserved and safely stored it for the Flight 93 National Memorial collection.”
     People surround a guide telling the Flight 93 story. He shows them the first crash site picture, taken by an oil distributor who witnessed the planes’ 575 m. p. h. descent. Its plunge created a gigantic crater, the guide explains. Debris sank 54 feet into the ground; the black box was buried 45 feet. Wind blew mail more than eight miles away.
     He pointed across the field…where 500 yards away a barely visible chain link fence encloses 29 acres of land marked by a flag. THAT is the sacred burial ground of forty passengers and crew…and the four hijackers. Seeing may not be believing, since there is nothing to see—nothing but a tree line fronted by acreage indistinguishable from the surrounding reclaimed strip mine. Only Flight 93 family members are permitted at the fence.
     The cross beam of a 12-foot high cross, created from 4×4 inch boards, is wound with a white cloth. The post is covered with signatures, messages and stickers.
     Near the cross an upright black granite slab lists forty names, framed and lettered in gold: This memorial is in memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives to save so many others. Their courage and love of our country will be a source of strength and comfort to our great nation. God Bless America.
     Fifteen visitors signed a boulder: SOUTH AFRICAN EDUCATORS DELEGATION TO GARRETT COUNTY, MARYLAND, MAY 2004. A black, gold, green, white, and blue flag is painted on the rock.
     Forty slate angels—backs to the distant chain link fence—wear red, white and blue skirts, and have three stars on each metal wing. Some are unadorned. Others are draped in colorful beads and/or surrounded by pictures and silk flower arrangements.
     A triangular rock pointing skyward. Engraved on it are “God Bless America,” a U. S. flag and “United We Stand.”
     Wood park benches face a strip mine pond and a distant barn and silo. Names of the heroes are carved in white letters on the backrests.
     It was an ordinary pastoral field at sunrise, September 11, 2001. It became sacred ground at 10:06 a. m.
A comment by James from San Francisco: Flight 93 is still a major mystery to me. The movie was garbage and came out a little too quickly. I’d say these are marks of brainwashing America into self-destruction.

ADDITIONAL READING:

DRESSING FOR BLESSING: GOD AND FASHION Part 2

FERAL BIRDS: THE LATEST COMMUNITY HAZARD

FLASHY MOON EXPLOSIONS

CHILDREN LEFT HOME ALONE (or in cars alone)

PARIS CAFE’s

KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY

SHOULD INFORMATION ON AN ALLEGED CHILD ABUSER BE PUBLICIZED?

ANOTHER HORRIFYING HEADLINE

THE BRIEFS OF OUR TRAVEL THUS FAR…
Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. You have to understand that at the time, I lived in the peaceful country in Stahlstown, not far from Shanksville. I quite often admired the open sky and used my telescope frequently. On this particular night, I was so moved that I HAD to write, as a catharsis, to help me deal with this tragedy. This is my poem.

    Title: 9/11

    The sky is quiet…and eerie…and still.
    Only the stars give their light
    For the innocent and uncounted souls
    That ascended to Heaven before night.

    A world in shock of a nation’s attack
    Finds it so hard to believe
    That evil ones upon this Earth
    Can cause us so deeply to grieve.

    The dear, brave heroes who downed their plane
    So that many more people might live
    Have shown Americans just what it means
    To truly, unselfishly give.

    A tribute to those who came to help,
    Trying to save more lives
    Prayers are offered for those who perished:
    The fathers…the children….the wives.

    They say that courage is only fear
    That boldly has said its prayers.
    Those of our nation are willing to help
    To prove that everyone cares.

    Remaining victorious, the brave USA
    Will stand forever tall
    With the spirit of people bonding together,
    Heeding a proud nation’s call.

    ~ Cathi Rhodes, in honor of all lives lost on 9/11

    Comment by Cathi Rhodes — September 11, 2010 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

  2. I took the liberty of posting Cathi’s poem in the Beanery Online Literary Magazine, http://www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com
    Carolyn

    Comment by carolyncholland — September 11, 2010 @ 3:15 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

What is your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: