Sunday, September 11, 2016 marked the 15th anniversary of the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania with a ceremony at the memorial, which included guest speakers and various tributes to the passengers and crew of the doomed flight.
In 2001, American Airlines Flight 93 was headed from New Jersey to Cleveland but was hijacked and put on course to crash into the Capitol Building. Several passengers on the flight resisted the hijackers resulting the plane crashing near a field in Shanksville. Every year, memorials take place in Shanksville, Washington D.C. and New York City to commemorate Flight 93, and the other planes that were hijacked and crashed that day.
This year’s service consisted of four guest speakers, included U.S. Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell; U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey; Representative Bill Shuster; and President of the Families of Flight 93, Gordon Felt. Each speaker including their remarks on that day and how it should be honored.
The family members and Somerset County Coroner, Wallace Miller, announced the names of the passengers aboard Flight 93. Following each name recognition, the Bells of Remembrance were rung by two freshmen representatives, Matthew Prosser and Gina Rhodes from the Shanksville-Stonycreek School District.
“It was neat to go back and see what people have been talking about in this area.” stated Gina Rhodes.
Along with the remarks from the guest speakers and the ringing of the bells, the ceremony included a number of musical selections shared by the Newark Boys Chorus.
Fifteen years later, Flight 93 is an almost complete memorial with many aspects that were not previously included before. The national park now includes a new visitors center, memorial wall, and an educational center for families and friends to learn more about Flight 93.
“We aren’t done yet with the final additions” stated by Kenny Nacke whose brother Lewis Nacke was aboard Flight 93.
Nacke built upon that statement by revealing that a tower of voices is to be added to the memorial in 2018.
Today most students at Shanksville and all across America do not remember what that day was like for our country, but our generation is challenged to remember what people have explained to us from that day.
Calvin Wilson, whose brother-in-law was on board Flight 93, he declared
“All students, not just in Shanksville, but in America shouldn't forget what happened that day.”
September 11, 2001 will always be remembered, not only for the 44 passengers on Flight 93, but the hundreds that were lost in total that dreadful day.