SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (WTAJ/WAVY) — Eighteen years later and a remembrance site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania remains hallowed ground.
The site is dedicated to the 40 brave American heroes who banded together and halted further terror during America’s darkest day on Sept. 11, 2001.
In an instant, the eyes of America were focused on the small town in rural Pennsylvania.
United Flight 93 was headed to San Francisco from Newark, New Jersey that morning when it crash-landed in an open field just outside of Shanksville.
One phone call from a person on Flight 93 sounded as though they understood what was going on, but sounded determined to see her family once again.
“I’m on a plane that’s been hijacked. Please tell my children that i love them very much. I hope to be able to see your face again baby.”
Flight 93 was one of four planes hijcked that morning.
Two of the planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, while the other slammed into the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks.
The brave Americans aboard Flight 93 faught to regain control of the hijacked plane as it was headed for Washington, D.C. Their names and actions are remembered at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stoystown.
In the days that followed, communities from all over came together in this small part of Central Pennsylvania to aid in the healing after the attacks.
The mission remains the same 18 years later: Honor the 40 brave souls and be a site of remembrance for the nation.
The marble wall of names at the Shanksville memorial leads to a wooden gate made of hemlock with 40 angles, representing each of those passenger and crew members.
Katie Cordek, a public information officer with the National Park Service, said the gate is “only ceremonially opened on September 11th after the ceremony and allows access for the family members to walk out the flight path and visit the boulder, the impact site of Flight 93.”