Visiting the United Flight 93 Memorial

The United Flight 93 Memorial within the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania commemorates the crash of United Airways Flight 93, which was considered one of 4 plane hijacked within the September 11 assaults. As a result of heroic efforts of passengers and crew to crash the plan in its distant location, between Shanksville and Stoystown, PA, no different lives had been taken. This memorial preserves the story of those peoples’ bravery throughout the higher context of the 9/11 tragedy.

Entrance sign for the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center

Having visited all three 9/11 Memorial websites, I discovered the message of hope and therapeutic right here on the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial to be strongest.

What occurred in Shanksville, PA on 9/11?

On September 11, 2001, 4 al-Qaida terrorists hijacked United Flight 93, a continuous flight headed from Newark, NJ to San Francisco. The 40 passengers and crew, having discovered concerning the earlier crashes on the World Commerce Middle and the Pentagon, voted to battle again. Their actions, forcing the airplane to crash right into a area close to a reclaimed coal mine, saved numerous lives on the meant goal in Washington, D.C.

What does the Flight 93 Memorial symbolize?

This Nationwide Memorial is a 2,200-acre nationwide park honoring the courageous actions of the 40 passengers and crew who prevented even higher tragedy.

Map of Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA
3D Map of the two,200 acre Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial

This 9/11 Memorial is comprised of 4 distinct parts: The Wall of Names, The Memorial Plaza, the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial Customer Middle and Studying Middle, and the Tower of Voices with its 40 windchimes. Every element is important to telling the story of what occurred right here.

The field at the Flight 93 Memorial with walkway in foreground and Visitor Center behind
The grounds on the Flight 93 Memorial

A typical area someday. A area of honor endlessly.

The Wall of Names and Memorial Plaza had been accomplished in 2011. The wall of names contains every of the 40 passengers and crew, inscribed on white marble panels the comply with the ultimate flight path. The Memorial Plaza sits on the quarter-mile northern boundary of the crash website and results in the Wall of Names. As a nationwide park, guides can be found to assist guests perceive the symbolism of the memorial.

Wall of Names at the Memorial Walkway
Wall of Names

One other element, the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial Customer Middle and Studying Middle opened in 2015. It gives a timeline of the occasions of 9/11 by pictures, artifacts, and audio recordings. It gives a broader context of world affairs at that second in time, in addition to context for all of the hijackings deliberate or tried on 9/11.

The ultimate component, the Tower of Voices, was finalized in 2018, and contains 40 chimes hung as a tribute to the voices of the 40 heroes who died right here. You possibly can expertise the Tower of Voices on earthcam.

Tower of Voices at United Flight 93 Memorial with trees and visitors in foreground
Tower of Voices on the United Flight 93 Memorial

What ought to I count on when visiting the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial?

On the United Flight 93 Memorial, the Customer Middle is probably the most informative, telling the story of 9/11 by dynamic shows. The house is darkish and, understandably, feels somber. It might probably get crowded, although the shows are usually simple to see, even with crowds. Those that need to hearken to the accessible recordings would possibly want a bit extra time to get by the exhibit. Museum docents can be found to supply help when wanted.

Simply exterior the Customer Middle, going left as you allow the constructing, there’s an overlook of the particles area. It gives a way of peace, as new bushes, flowers and native grasses cowl the scarring of the crash website. On the similar time, it gives a way of how violent and expansive the crash was.

Whenever you go away the Customer Middle, take a brief drive to the car parking zone close to the Wall of Names. Once more, Nationwide Park employees and volunteers can be found to elucidate the that means of every component. The Wall of Names is made from 40 particular person slabs of marble to create one cohesive wall. It follows the road of the ultimate moments of flight. Whenever you lookup towards the Customer Middle from the Wall of Names, think about how intense these few moments in time will need to have been.

Wall of Names at the Flight 93 Memorial looking up toward the Visitor Center
Wall of Names: 40 particular person slabs creating one cohesive wall

The Ceremonial Gate, close to the Wall of Names, is saved locked and opens solely to permit members of the family of those that died to cross by. The gate is made from hemlock, the tree most prevalent on the crash website. I really appreciated that the households are offered privateness after they go to.

Interpretation board at Memorial Plaza overlooking the boulder marking the southernmost spot of impact of Flight 93.
Alongside the Memorial Plaza, interpretive indicators clarify what guests see.
Ceremonial Gate at Flight 93 Memorial outside Shanksville, PA
The Ceremonial Gate at United Flight 93 Memorial

A brief drive away, the Tower of Voices is, maybe probably the most therapeutic spot at this 9/11 Memorial. Set amongst concentric plantings of bushes and wildflowers, the 93 foot tall Tower of Voices homes 40 completely tuned wind chimes, one for every heroic voice misplaced right here. As with the Wall of Names, there’s a sense of quiet peace and therapeutic right here. Whereas those that died can’t be introduced again, their message of power is palpable. Sit on a bench and permit that feeling to soak in.

Looking up from below at the chimes at the Flight 93 Memorial
Chimes on the Tower of Voices

Is the Flight 93 Memorial child pleasant?

This Memorial welcomes youngsters. Like different nationwide parks, a Junior Ranger Program is on the market on request on the Customer Middle and on the Memorial Plaza. This system gives 11 actions of various ranges to assist children perceive this 9/11 Memorial. It additionally features a narrative to elucidate the occasions of 9/11 to youthful children.

Some tricks to make a go to to the Flight 93 Memorial with children a bit simpler:

  1. Introduce the Flight 93 Memorial to them earlier than you go — displaying them photos of the Flight 93 Memorial so that they know what they are going to be seeing.
  2. Clarify “correct etiquette.” A suggestion: A number of the individuals going to this museum can be very unhappy as a result of they comprehend it was a tricky day in America. After we go to, it’s essential to make use of quiet voices. After we get there, the very first thing we are going to do is get a information with photos and actions only for children.
  3. Take breaks. In case your little one has numerous questions, take a break to go exterior and browse the Junior Ranger booklet collectively. With no context, it may be arduous for them to soak up.
  4. On drives between the three parts, ask them for his or her questions and reply them earlier than you go to the subsequent a part of the Memorial.

Whereas the 9/11 Memorial isn’t designed for younger children, with some preparation and parental persistence, they will go to and study. It’s essential to grasp the previous — even when it doesn’t really feel a lot like historical past to us adults.

How lengthy does it take to tour the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial?

It takes between 45 minutes and an hour to discover the exhibition house within the Customer Middle. It might probably take a bit longer if the Customer Middle is crowded.

Relying on whether or not you select the strolling trails to the Wall of Names or select to drive down, your time to go to will be longer or shorter. The stroll isn’t terribly troublesome, simply over a mile, nevertheless it does take longer than driving.

Enable a minimal of half-hour for the Wall of Names. There’s a cellular phone tour accessible to elucidate the that means of various parts on the website, and that takes longer than merely exploring visually.

The Tower of Voices is usually a fast ten minute go to, particularly if the winds are calm.

A minimal of 1 hour is advisable for your entire go to, although as much as three hours isn’t unreasonable to spend on the Flight 93 Memorial.

Can I deliver my pet to the Flight 93 Memorial?

Whereas service animals are at all times allowed, household pets are usually not allowed within the Guests Middle or on the Memorial Plaza.

Pets are permitted on the strolling trails, on the Tower of Voices, and on the grass walkway close to the Memorial Plaza (simply not close to the paved walkway and interpretive indicators). Pets are allowed in all parking tons.

Pets have to be on leashes not than six ft always, and pet house owners ought to clear up after their pets.

When is the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial open?

The Customer Middle is open each day from 9 a.m. to five p.m. each day, apart from New Yr’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

The 9/11 Memorial grounds, together with the Wall of Names, the Tower of Voices and the paths, are open each day, dawn to sundown besides in inclement climate.

What does it price to tour the United Flight 93 Memorial?

There isn’t a payment to go to this memorial website. There may be additionally no payment for parking. A present store on the customer middle is on the market to buy gadgets associated to the memorial and different nationwide parks. The Junior Ranger Program is obtainable totally free, simply ask an attendant on the desk.

Assets to plan your go to

For extra info on the Flight 93 Memorial, verify these assets:

GPS Deal with for the Flight 93 Nationwide Memorial: 6424 Lincoln Freeway, Stoystown, PA.

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Extra info and concepts for visiting the Laurel Highlands:


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