If you decide to go, you will be traveling to a site located on a barren, strip mined area of Somerset County, Pennsylvania that was reclaimed [restored to its original slope and planted with grass to prevent erosion] after the bituminous coal was removed.
Today, it looks like an enormous bowl-shaped wild meadow.
There is small gravel parking lot and the temporary “memorial wall” to which people from around the world have attached notes, tags, license plates, and special mementos. Adjacent to the wall, you will find several memorial plaques and stone markers: 40 “angel flags” to honor the heroes, benches inscribed with their names, and a small building to house the volunteers who stand ready to interpret the events of September 11 and how that day affected their quiet rural lives.
From the vantage point at the temporary memorial, you will see an American flag several hundred yards away attached to a chain link fence that surrounds the spot where the plane impacted. That is the “crash” or the "impact" site, and where the plane was forced down by the heroic passengers who fought the terrorists for control of the plane.
A continuous breeze that blows across the open ground at the site, keeps the flag pole pulleys clanking. You cannot escape that sound.
Volunteers stand ready to answer questions posed by inquisitive visitors who are trying to make sense of what happened, and trying to “connect” with the site. Each volunteer, many are residents that live nearby, have a special way of describing the site and their own personal experience.
On one visit our guide, provided us with his “first person” account of September 11, 2001. He told us how he felt the ground shake at his home from the impact and explosion, and how he and many of his neighbors rushed to the site to help only to learn there was nothing anyone could do. He told us how his daughter, a school teacher at the nearby elementary school, was spared because the plane missed the school and everyone on the ground for that matter, and how she organized a tribute to the Flight 93 Heroes by having the students gather outside the school to spell out the words THANK YOU that was captured by an aerial photograph he showed us.
The Flight 93 Memorial site was described by Captain S. Ruda, Los Angeles Fire Department, as “A Common Field One Day ... A Field of Honor Forever.”
The Flight 93 Temporary Memorial lacks any special signage-- just a few make-shift ones that may be difficult to notice the first time you drive by. So if you plan to visit, you should be prepared to spend some extra time finding your way.
Check the weather and dress appropriately – always carry a sweater or sweatshirt. The Somerset breeze will chill you to the bone no matter what time of the year you visit.
Click the link below to get Google mapping directions, and view a short video clip to show you the sights and sounds that digital image can never capture. http://www.storytrax.com/node/213