About Flight 93 Memorial
The Flight 93 National Memorial is dedicated to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93, which was one of the four aircraft hijacked during the September 11 attacks. The passengers of the plane stopped the terrorists from reaching their target, most likely the US Capitol, and instead crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania, where the memorial is now located. All 40 passengers and crew were killed, as well as the four hijackers.
A temporary memorial was established to honour the passengers and crew shortly after the crash, while the first permanent memorial was completed, opened and dedicated in 2011.
History of Flight 93 Memorial
Immediately after the crash, the site was enclosed by a fence and closed to the public except for the victims’ family members. A temporary memorial, some 450 metres away, included a 40 foot chain link fence – with its length commemorating the 40 passengers and crew who were lost – where visitors left flowers, flags, rosaries and other items.
In the years following the attacks, around 150,000 people each year came to the site, with the number peaking at 500,000 per year in 2008. In 2002, a bill in the United States House of Representatives stated that a National Memorial should be established. A multi-stage competition was held for its design, with the winning design, a modified version of the entry Crescent of Embrace by Paul and Milena Murdoch (since the original caused controversy) being completed and opened on September 10, 2011.
A concrete and glass visitor centre that overlooks the crash site and white marble ‘Wall of Names’ opened on September 10, 2015. In 2017, a 93 foot tall ‘Tower of Voices’ began which contains 40 wind chimes – one for each passenger and crew member who died in the crash.
Flight 93 Memorial today
Today, the Flight 93 memorial attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The Visitor Centre is open daily and contains information about the attacks, the crime scene investigation and the local, state and federal response to the Flight 93 crash. A visit round the centre takes around 45 minutes.
A memorial is held every year on the anniversary of the crash.
Getting to Flight 93 Memorial
The Flight 93 National Memorial is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, around 20 miles from Somerset, PA. From Pittsburgh, it takes around 1 1/2 hours to drive, 3, 1/2 hours from Baltimore, 4 hours from Philadelphia and 5 hours from New York City.