Last weekend on my way to Chautauqua, New York, I had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township, PA. As soon as you turn into and drive along the three-mile winding access road that leads to the Crash Site and Memorial Plaza, you feel the quiet, contemplative nature of this space.
From the visitor shelter and arrival court, you walk a quarter of a mile along a sloping black wall that marks the edge of the field of debris. Ahead is the white marble Wall of Names, which aligns with Flight 93’s path.
Along the wall, there are several niches allowing visitors to pay tribute to the victims with small mementos.
The Wall of Names is made of 40 engraved marble panels, one for each of the passengers and flight crew members who were aboard.
A gap in the wall offers a glimpse of wildflowers, perhaps inspiring healing and growth.
At the end of the Wall of Names, the wooden Ceremonial Gate allows visitors to look down the flight’s path to the the large sandstone boulder which represents the plane’s final resting place. The image above was taken through a gap in the gate.
Simple yet beautiful, the memorial evokes solemn reflection and respectful commemoration of the heroes who gave their lives that day. It is still a work in progress. The planting of 40 memorial groves is nearly complete, and a Visitors’ Center Complex is in development. The Tower of Voices, currently funding dependent, is to be a 93-foot tall tower featuring 40 wind chimes as a “tribute in sound” placed near the park entrance.
Half the funds for the memorial have been achieved through private donations. If you would like to contribute or find out more, visit the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign.