Friday, September 04, 2009

Shanksville PA 9/11 Memorial

We all know the story of what happened in America on September 11, 2001. Evil terrorists made a series of attacks on our nation using American commercial airliners as weapons. The attack that got the most attention was the World Trade Center in New York.

An attack that didn't get as much attention was near Shanksville, PA. That one made the least amount of damage, as the plane crashed down on an empty field, killing only those who were on board. Yet, it was the most heroic.

The courage of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 defeated the efforts of the hijackers, causing the plane to crash a long way from the intended target of Washington, DC, and away from any heavily populated areas. Because these people were brave enough to fight back, hundreds of lives have been spared.

New York City was a major disaster area, and the Pentagon in Arlington, VA was under heavy guard. But in that field in rural Pennsylvania, there was nothing to keep people away who came to see where the plane went down. People were walking around with tears in their eyes, thinking about those who lost their lives to save others. After the flames were out and the smoke had cleared, people began working on a memorial.

The true beauty of the memorial that was built on that site was that it was done entirely by private citizens. There were no committees, no town meetings, no assignments, just people wanting to express their sympathy for what happened there.

For a long time afterward, people were traveling from all around the country to visit the crash site, bringing memorabilia with them to add to the display. One of the first things erected on the site was a chain link fence that the visitors used to display their various items. Others brought signs, plaques, and sculptures. Many brought flowers and flags. Soon it became the largest makeshift shrine in America, if not the whole world.

Eventually, the US Government decided they didn't like the idea of citizens doing their job, and sought to make the crash site into an official memorial park. Everyone liked the idea, of course, except for the part about the government wanting to take credit for it, the bad taste of the "crescent" design, and the fact that they were so bound and determined to prove they could do such a better job than everyone else, that they went way overboard on how much land they would need, and how much to spend on it. This is why it took so long to reach an agreement on it.

So now, eight years later, the plans are officially under way to build this great big park that will cost millions of dollars, to be completed in time for the 10-year anniversary in 2011. I'm sure it will all be very nice, but I would want everyone to remember it was the people who started it. Just ordinary, everyday, American people.

For an impressive example of what American people are capable of doing on their own, take a look at the pictures on this website.

Just as in the case of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, there are those who believe this whole 9/11 thing didn't really happen, that it was all just a big hoax. They have yet to convince me.

Special thanks to Chris Hurlbert, whose stories and photos have inspired me to write this.


Anonymous said...

Big hoax?

All you have to do is simply physically verify ONE single piece of debris from any of the 4 planes from any of the 4 locations from 9-11. Do you think by the 10 year anniversary they will have done that yet?

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