September 8, 2011

Flight 93 Temporary Site: Last (Two) Days




     Today my husband Monte and I had an opportunity to visit the temporary Flight 93 Memorial, near where the plane crashed on that fateful day, September 11, 2001. Tomorrow, the temporary site will close and on Saturday the new, permanent, site will be dedicated.

      We knew the temporary site had been moved for a third time since its inception to make way for the national Memorial. Because we hadn’t visited the site since 2009, and because of the upcoming Tenth Anniversary, we knew the entrance would be different than it was at our last visit.  We truly didn’t know where we were going, but we followed the signs through strange territory and found a parking space. When we arrived we had to walk through a fenced in walkway to a lot with an overview where we could view the permanent Flight 93 National Memorial site, the construction machines (or are they media vehicles?), and, in the far distance, the crash site. We were unable to see the fence that had once surrounded the site, and likely still does.

     Along the fence, attached and laying on the ground, were roses, single ones with stems woven through the fence, groups of a dozen. Wreathes decorated in red, white, and blue carnations, flags, and informational plaques were attached to the fence. A constant stream of people, in groups or individually, infants and elderly, came to visit, but while we were there it was never crowded.  

     It was difficult to identify where the former temporary site was located. However, as we looked over the fence, we saw fields of goldenrod, brown-eyed Susans, lacy wild carrot—a typical, peaceful, rural field. The sun barely shone under threatening clouds that had recently released rain—remnants of tropical storm Lee—leaving puddles and mud. Beyond the new memorial, on a hillside, was a farm with a white farmhouse and a traditional red farmhouse. I wondered if it belonged to the Flight 93 Memorial Site, or if a farm family had a constant view of the site.

     We strolled back to the parking lot to a metal building, gray with rust spots, that housed more of the temporary memorial. Outside, in a small adjacent parking lot to the right, I noticed a large group of motorcycles. While Monte went inside the building, I stood outside, watching them as they prepared to leave, my trigger finger posed to snap a photograph. Later, while talking to a motorcyclist from Washington state, I learned that members of emergency departments across the country were riding into New York City this weekend. The group I was watching was from Ohio, he said.

   Inside the building was a small section of metal fencing, reminiscent of the long fence at the two previous temporary memorial sites. On it were license plates (one from Alaska), hardhats, patches from various organizations and fire departments,, caps, and other memorabilia left  by persons needing to leave a piece of themselves.

     Around the room were posters, including those providing information on the making of the memorial. People gathered about reading them.

     A table had a pile of five by eight cards, on which persons could make comments and tack to the wall behind the table. Monte and I read the cards—a typical one said Flight 93 showed us we can all be brave. I didn’t see any visitor’s sign in book.

     After reading the cards, we decided to leave. I was glad for the opportunity to visit the temporary site during its last two days.




Flight of Valor: Honoring United Airlines Flight 93 Victims

Somerset County (PA) Community Band Commissions Flight of Valor

Staycation Day Trip: Somerset County, PA

QUECREEK MINE DISASTER: A 21st Century Historical Site in Somerset County, PA

1 Comment »

  1. […] Flight 93 Temporary Site: Last (Two) Days […]

    Pingback by The Original Flight 93 Crash Site Memorial | Carolyn's Online Magazine — September 11, 2015 @ 12:16 am | Reply

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