Visiting Flight 93 Memorial, a Moving Experience


A photo of the author, Caleb ReganOur work here at GRIT affords me the ability on some occasions to visit some really special places and interact with some really inspiring people. Visiting the Flight 93 Memorial outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was as chilling, moving, and proud of an experience as I’ve ever had.

The idea of visiting this location and how special it would be occurred to me after reading a column by Rick Reilly (the link forwarded to me from my brother Josh), who writes usually sentimental sports articles for ESPN.

In the days leading up to September 11 of this year, he wrote a moving piece in which ESPN published the actual transcript of the audio recovered from the Flight 93 plane. It was the first time I’d ever read it, and it’s really something else.

For those who don’t know, Flight 93 was the fourth plane that never made it to its intended target on September 11, 2001. Heroic passengers stormed the cockpit behind a passenger plane drink cart and caused their aircraft to crash about 18 minutes by air from the most probable intended destination, the U.S. Capitol building.

Map of the events of September 11, 2001. 
Photo courtesy Flight 93 National Memorial/U.S. Department of the Interior

From the follow-up trials following that day, we’ve learned that Osama bin Laden most wanted to send the fourth plane into the White House, but other planners and advisors favored the Capitol. Apparently one of the reasons September 11 was chosen was that the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate were both in session that day.

Nebraska Dave
10/13/2011 8:22:02 AM

Caleb, It would be sobering to stand at the location where the heroic people of flight 93 sacrificed their lives to protect our country. It just goes to show that we could be called upon at any time to do heroic acts of total sacrifice. I would hope that I would measure up to the task as those did in flight 93. It kind of makes me proud to be an American. We, in this country as a whole, are still made of the right stuff and if need be will never give up even if it means our life. Thank you so much for posting this post as a reminder of just how great country can be when called upon. Have a great patriotic day.

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