Sunday, September 2, 2012

Flight 93 Memorial

During my recent roadtrip to some western parts of Maryland, I took a swing up into Pennsylvania and visited the memorial to Flight 93, which crashed near Shanksville on 9/11/2001, after some of the passengers and crew tried to wrest control of the airplane from the highjackers.  This was my third visit to the memorial, the others having been in 2006 and 2008. 

The memorial and its environs have changed since 2008.  During my previous visits, there was only a temporary memorial, reached by some back roads extending between Shanksville and Lambertville to the north.  Now, there is a new road extending southward from US 30, leading to a paved parking lot, some restrooms, and a walkway to the memorial itself.

I remember quite a bit of controversy about some plans for the memorial's design, which was alleged to contain quite a bit of Islamic symbolism, including a large circular wall with a gap, which from the center of the circle allegedly would point to Mecca.  The actual memorial, at least for now, does not include the circular design, but some straight wall sections.  However, according to the link above, the memorial is not yet complete, and thus could still in the future incorporate design features that some find objectionable.

Here is the wall and a pretty good crowd of visitors.

The wall is made of panels, bearing the names of passengers and crew.

Along the walkway between the parking lot and the memorial are some kiosks and a seating area.

Extending along the walkway is this wall, set at what appears to be a 45 degree angle, and including some niches.  Flags, flowers and other offerings have been placed in these niches, continuing a tradition that began with the temporary memorial.

As an added note, my 2008 visit was reported in a post on AndRightlySo, the blog that took me in, so to speak, a few months before.  While the blog is now longer on the web, two of my blogmates created a backup site at Wordpress, which is still around and contains some of our posts from that year.  At it turns out, this includes the post about my 2008 visit.

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