Shanksville, Pa. breaks ground on 9/11 memorial
As Americans pause again to remember those lost in the Sept. 11 attacks 12 years ago, one town directly affected but often overlooked is marking a milestone.
Workers in Shanksville, Penn., broke ground on the Flight 93 National Memorial Tuesday, beginning construction on the 6,800-square-foot visitor center that will tell the story of Flight 93. Four hijackers turned the plane toward Washington, D.C., likely targeting the U.S. Capitol building, before passengers and crew stormed the cockpit and tried to regain control. The plane crashed into a field and everyone on board was killed.
"Because of the quick and determined actions of the passengers and crew, Flight 93 was the only one of the four hijacked aircraft that failed to reach the terrorists' intended target that day," the National Park Service wrote on its website. "The passengers and crew showed unity, courage, and defiance in the face of adversity."
Organizers announced Tuesday they had raised $40 million, which gave them the green light on the memorial for the 40 passengers and crew members killed. It will include a plaza, a wall of names, memorial groves and a field of honor. The names of the deceased will be read at an observance ceremony Wednesday at 10:03 a.m., when Flight 93 crashed.
Other memorials around the country Wednesday include:
- Six moments of silence in New York City, which suffered the most fatalities on 9/11. The first will start at 8:46 a.m., when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center and the last will be at 10:28 a.m., when the North Tower fell. The ritual of reading all 2,983 names of those who died is scheduled at the National September 11 Memorial plaza, where two reflecting pools sit on the blueprint of the original Twin Towers.
- President Barack Obama will attend a private ceremony at the Pentagon with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey. The service is only open to families of those who died in the attacks and includes a wreath-laying ceremony.
- The town of Westfield, N.J., will hold its annual “We Will Never Forget” ceremony that honors the 12 residents who died on 9/11.
- The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which honors fallen firefighters and offers support to their families, hosts stair climbs throughout the country annually. This year, it has scheduled 33 climbs with 11 taking place in Texas, Colorado, Missouri and Wyoming.
- Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard expanded the annual Fallen Heroes Memorial Ceremony in Pontiac, Mich. to include police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty after a crew went to Ground Zero. “Police and fire work side by side every day and on 9/11, you saw them perish side by side,” he said. The ceremony starts at 11 a.m.