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Stick Shaker: Flight 93

882I was reminded this week how easy it is to forget important things in my life. In this case an event that has impacted all of us – September 11, 2001. My wife Deb and I were driving from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh along highway 30 in Pennsylvania, to attend the GA Issues and Security Conference. I wish I could say we planned ahead to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, PA, but it just came down to picking what we thought would be a nice drive through the countryside. As a public-private partnership, Congress designated the crash site in 2002 as a national memorial to the passengers and crew of United Flight 93. Although work continues on a future visitor center complex, walkway, tower of voices and 40 memorial groves, the existing Wall of Names and Memorial Plaza provide an informational and emotional connection to that fateful morning.

Memorial Plaza

Memorial Plaza

I was reminded that the Boeing 757 was only 18 minutes flying time from the U.S. Capitol, the most likely target, when passengers and crew struggled with the terrorists for control of the plane. As I looked at the names on the Wall and read various accounts of their courage, I was moved, inspired and grateful for so much in this country. I was also greatly encouraged by the steady stream of cars, RVs and motorcycles that arrived while we were there. Evidence that while we might get distracted by all that life throws at us, we haven’t forgotten, nor will we. 

Names of passengers and crew of United Flight 93 are engraved in the white marble 'Wall of Names'.

Names of passengers and crew of United Flight 93 are engraved in the white marble ‘Wall of Names’.


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