A beautiful memorial that brings tears to your eyes:  The National Flight 93 Memorial

Pennsylvania countryside just a little more than halfway from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh

After a busy weekend at my reunion in Hershey, I was weary as we set out for home.  I was also tired of fighting the trucks and construction on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  So, we got off at the Breezewood exit and headed west on U.S. Route 30.

I knew the National Flight 93 Memorial was in that direction, but I did not expect it to be just seven miles off the highway.  Of course, we went in to see it.  We were glad that so many young people with their children visiting.  As long as that happens, the events will not be forgotten.

A model of the Memorial as seen from behind the crash site in the foreground. All photos were taken near the building in the upper left.

It was a beautiful day just like the September 11, 2001 day when four groups of terrorists set off to attack the United States.  They took civilian planes, hijacked them and turned them into weapons.

Two planes were flown into the towers of New York’s World Trade Center.  One was flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  2956 people lost their lives. Thousands more were injured.

Flight 93 left from Newark, New Jersey heading towards San Francisco when it was hjacked and turned around towards Washington.  It is believed the terrorists planned to fly into the U.S. Capitol building.

There were forty crew and passengers other than the hijackers aboard.  The pilot and copilot were killed or injured and the passengers herded into the back of the plane.  There, the passengers heard about the attacks that had already taken place through phone calls placed by or to loved ones.  Transcripts of many of the phone calls are still available.

A number of the passengers decided to rush the cockpit to take back control of the plane. In the melee, the terrorists decided to crash the plane into the Pennsylvania farm field below.  All aboard died, but who can say how many more lives were saved.

Click on photos to enlarge.

I do not believe the courage of the passengers is unique to the United States; people will rise up to defend themselves and those they love.  But Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and inspiration for the hijackers, did misread the United States as many have done before him.  He believed the nation to be much weaker than was generally thought [a belief that exists in many parts of the world].  He had seen the U.S. withdraw from Vietnam.  He had seen the U.S. withdraw from Lebanon after the bombing of a Marine barracks there.  He had seen the U.S. withdraw from Somalia after 18 servicemen were killed there.  As with others, he did not understand such events were not perceived to be attacks on the U.S. way of life itself.  He did not understand the core beliefs of a nation created from the wilderness by immigrants. As it was for others, it was a fatal mistake.

Inside the Visitors’ Center, one is guided through the events.  The people involved are presented as real people, not characters in a television or movie.  Near the exit, there is a box of tissues for those who need them to dry their tears.

Date of our visit: 16 Oct 22

About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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12 Responses to A beautiful memorial that brings tears to your eyes:  The National Flight 93 Memorial

  1. adamhalevi says:

    Very moving and nobly expressed Ray

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Irv & Joy Davis says:

    Thank you Ray for sharing this with all of us. I agree that it is good to see young families visiting sites like this so the people involved are not forgotten. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LORAINE Beckman BECKMAN says:

    Beautiful memorial.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. john kosich says:

    Great job Ray. I lived in Lancaster for many years, traveled alot for work but never went anywhere not related to my assignments. Still don’t go anywhere sightseeing (I’ve turned into almost a hermit in my older years). I do enjoy your summaries and pics! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      Thanks. There are a lot of places around Texas we would like to see. Although it seems like a lifetime ago, we had planned to do a driving trip down there after Homecoming. But Alie became ill a year ago, and while she is much improved, she is still not up to that sort of trip. When we can go, I’m sure we will start out for a few highlights and add others just as we go down the road as we did when we left Bedford. I think I have infinite curiosity.


  5. Great post! This memorial is on our list. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JohnRH says:

    Well said. As I may have mentioned in my blog, my visit to the NYC 9/11 memorial and museum, other than any Holocaust museum I’ve ever been to, was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

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