Flight 93 dedication, remembrance events planned Sunday, Tuesday in Somerset County
Events on Sunday and Tuesday will memorialize the 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when terrorists wrested control of the plane before it crashed into a Somerset County field on Sept. 11, 2001.
The final piece of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township will be dedicated beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday. The 93-foot Tower of Voices will feature, when completed, 40 wind chimes cut and tooled to produce a certain musical note when wind flows through the tower near the park entrance. The chimes, made from aluminum tubes, represent the voices of the 40 people aboard the plane.
The $6 million project was paid for with a grant from the National Park Foundation.
The dedication ceremony is free and will take place rain or shine.
Visitors will be shuttled to the tower from designated parking lots. Shuttle service begins at 8:30 a.m.
The ceremony will be broadcast live by the National Park Service.Speakers at Sunday’s event include:
• Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who served as the first Secretary of Homeland Security and is the national co-chairman of the Flight 93 National Memorial Fundraising Campaign;
• Calvin Wilson, brother-in-law of Flight 93 First Officer LeRoy Homer Jr. and former federal advisory commissioner for the Flight 93 National Memorial;
• Paul Murdoch, the architect of the Flight 93 National Memorial; and
• the Rev. Robert Way, who was a Lutheran minister in Somerset County on 9/11.
Also to take part in the ceremony will be the Air Force Singing Sergeants and the National Park Service Honor Guard.
The names of the 40 passengers and crew aboard the plane will be read at 10:03 a.m., the moment Flight 93 crashed. The Bells of Remembrance also will be rung in their memory.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed on 9/11, when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania field. The passengers and crew of Flight 93 are credited with trying to breach the cockpit after four hijackers tried to fly the plane to a suspected target in the nation’s capital.
In addition to the president, other scheduled speakers at the 17th annual Sept. 11 Observance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Tuesday include:
• Ryan Zinke, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and former Navy SEAL;
• Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf;
• Former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker;
• Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93; and
• the Rev. Paul Britton, brother of Flight 93 passenger Marion R. Britton.
The Navy Brass Quintet will perform.
For more information, visit nps.gov/flni .
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review
staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter @byrenatta.