Friday, September 11, 2009

Flight 93 Remembered

Flight 93 Panorama1
10:03 on a Tuesday morning
In the fall of an American dream
A man is doing what he knows is right
On Flight 93

Loved his mom and he loved his dad
Loved his home and he loved his man
But on that bloody Tuesday morning
He died an American
-Melissa Etheridge

IMG_7915Eight years ago, the fundamentalist Islamic enemies of Western civilization rolled out a new tactic designed to intimidate and terrorize the American people. Using hijacked planes as weapons, they committed suicide, taking with them thousands of innocent people in two proud American cities. They relied on our complacency and their knowledge of our procedures for hijacked planes aimed at saving as many civilian lives as possible.

That strategy worked for exactly forty minutes. When the passengers of Flight 93 heard of the atrocities performed by other hijackers, the stormed the cockpit causing the plane to crash in Pennsylvania rather than its intended target in Washington, DC.

IMG_7902If you take the back roads from Baltimore to Pittsburgh, a small easily missed sign points to the crash site. Across the road from the field where the inverted airplane smashed into the ground at 563 miles per hour is a makeshift memorial site anchored by a small National Park Service trailer. A gravel parking lot sits adjacent to a hodge podge of plaques and markers and memorials. A makeshift wall holds a few hundred of the thousands of articles left by mourners and pilgrims. A few rows of benches serve as an open air chapel for the volunteers that give an account of what we know happened that day on that flight.

IMG_7904Across the road is a barely visible American flag marking the location of the crash where a permanent memorial will be built. But memorials don't need granite or flags or rows of trees. They just need people to keep a memory alive. We will never know exactly what transpired on Flight 93, but it was a flight of heroes. Heroes that deserve to be remembered and honored.

I've backdated this post to the time that Flight 93 crashed. Let it always stand as notice that Americans will always fight back when attacked. More pictures of the temporary memorial are available on Flickr

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