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Service honors heroes at Flight 93 National Memorial | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Service honors heroes at Flight 93 National Memorial

The Associated Press
| Sunday, September 11, 2016 9:03 a.m
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President Barack Obama bows his head for a moment of silence before delivering remarks at the Sept. 11 memorial observance ceremony at the Pentagon, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Police officer Eloy Suarez holds an American flag with the names of the people who died during the attacks on the World Trade Center during 15th anniversary ceremony as he stands in the outskirts of the Sept. 11 memorial, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in New York.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
The United States Navy Ceremonial Guard stand at attention during the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Attendees stand at the conclusion of the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
A visitor takes in the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Hank Kinzey of Detroit kisses the name of Honor Elizabeth Wainio, as he visits the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Kinzey has been traveling to the national memorial to show his respects to the families of those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Arthur Kruk, center left, 58, and his wife, Linda, 60, of Norwalk, Conn., place their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem at A Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
An unidentified woman becomes emotional during the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
President of the Families of Flight 93 Gordon Felt, 52, of Ramsey, N.Y., has a quiet moment by himself inside the visitor's center before speaking at A Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Park Ranger Robert Franz, 61, of Berlin readies the flags for A Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. 'I'd be proud to be a park ranger anywhere, but it's an honor to be one here,' Franz said of the site.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Luis Daniel Rodriguez, Jr., 11, of Newark looks out over the Flight 93 National Memorial fields in Shanksville with his fellow singers from the Newark Boys Chorus on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. The choir sang at the service of remembrance for the 40 lives lost in the crash at the site.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
The Lacey family of Jessup, Md., gathers for A Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. From left: Emma, 5, Keith, 38, Ruth, 12, Sarah, 35, Katherine, 1, and Gavin, 7.
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Secretary Sally Jewell with the United States Department of Interior delivers remarks to those in attendance of the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Attendees stand at the conclusion of the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Sen. Pat Toomey addresses those in attendance of the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, delivers remarks to those in attendance of the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
People gather for A Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Remarks were made by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and President of the Families of Flight 93 Gordon Felt, as well as Pennsylvania State Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey and Rep. William Shuster.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
A park ranger stands at the observation point of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Sen. Robert Casey Jr. delivers remarks to those in attendance of the Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Matthew Prosser (left) and Gina Rhoads, students at Shanksville-Stonycreek High School, ring the Bells of Remembrance during A Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Sun rises on the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Attendees show emotion as they watch the Ceremonial Gate Opening and wreath laying at the Flight 93 National Memorial on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
People visit the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville for the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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'God bless you all,' reads a drawing resting at the Flight 93 National Memorial on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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An attendee during the Service of Rememberance has a moment at the name of Joseph DeLuca at the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
A flight attendant wears a ribbon and pin in support of the passengers and crew that perished on flight 93 which was one of four planes hijacked and used in the terror attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Flowers are left at the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Ted Garbrandt, of Canton, Oh., bears a flag with the names of those who perished in the terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, during a Service of Rememberance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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A couple stands on the flight path overlook at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Family members visit the site of the impact zone at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.
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Mike Scott, of Virginia Beach, Va., stands at the name of First Officer Leroy Homer, during the Service of Rememberance held at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Tonwship on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. Scott was a recipient of the Leroy Homer Jr. Foundation Scholarship in 2003. Scott graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and was selected for Navy pilot training.

SHANKSVILLE – Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, made an impassioned plea to hundreds gathered here Sunday to honor the sacrifice that 40 passengers and crew members made 15 years ago: to remember.

“Please don’t let September 11th become just another day,” Felt said. “Fight to remember, … tell stories of September 11th and encourage a new generation to learn about that day.

“Be braver, be stronger and stand against tyranny,” he said.

His brother, Edward Felt, was among a group who – over the Southwestern Pennsylvania skies – struggled to wrest control of the plane from terrorist hijackers determined to crash it in Washington D.C. About 1,000 people gathered under cloudy skies on this windswept hill at the Flight 93 National Memorial to honor those who died in the Somerset County field when the plane crashed at 10:03 a.m.

“Through courage and selflessness, they saved untold lives and saved another American monument, our Capitol,” said Sally Jewell, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Jewell marveled at how ordinary Americans have become invested in the Flight 93 memorial. She noted that more than 120,000 people have contributed to the development of the site, which will be complete in 2018 with the erection of the Tower of Voices.

Jewell vowed that the National Park Service will forever honor the courage of the passengers and crew of Flight 93.

“United you stood, so we could live,” she said. “You will never be forgotten.”

Already, a new generation is learning about the story, including a pair of Shanksville-Stonycreek High School students Matthew Prosser and Gina Rhoads, who rang the bells of remembrance as family members and Somerset County Coroner Wally Miller read the names of those aboard Flight 93 when it crashed.

Nearby, about 50 students from Green high and middle schools in Ohio left at 4 a.m. Sunday to attend the service.

“A lot of people talk about it … and I feel like it’s a big part of American history,” said eighth-grader Ella Hemphill. “When you’re here, you can really see other people who have lived through it and have some sort of connection to it.”

Being at the memorial drives home the message to the students, said Julie McMahan, director of communications and community relations for Green Local School District.

“This is the type of history lesson that can only be taught here,” McMahan said. “I want them to understand that 9/11, that date should stand on its own.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-PA, and U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, spoke during the memorial of their gratitude for the selfless acts of those aboard the plane.

Toomey and Shuster were working at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Because of their actions, I was able to go home to my family that day,” Toomey said.

“We still have our hope, hope for a peaceful world … we need to hold on to that,” Shuster said.

Casey said future generations will “gather inspiration from their actions that terrible day.”

Shanksville area residents who volunteered and worked tirelessly in the days, months and years following the plane crash – eventually creating the Friends of Flight 93 – attended the ceremony.

Rose Sprock greeted attendees and said she has been working here since March 2002 to support efforts at the memorial.

“When this happened, I felt it was something I just had to do,” Sprock said. “My heart was just pulling me.”

Others came hundreds of miles to pay their respects.

“My brother took a trip across the country and he said this was the most beautiful thing he saw,” said Mike Plant, a Navy veteran from Connecticut. “This was the anniversary, so we thought we had to come see it.”

Felt said he looks forward to completing the memorial in 2018 when Tower of Voices will “stand proudly and defiantly” 93 feet tall near the entrance to the site from Route 30. The tower will contain 40 wind chimes, representing the voices of those aboard the plane.

The monument, he said, is “for those who have forgotten, for those who come after us.”

Tom Hodge of South Jersey said he hasn’t missed an annual remembrance service.

“It’s something I just got to do to show my respect for them,” he said. “Never forget”

Debra Erdley and Renatta Signorini are Trib Total Media staff writers.

Categories: Westmoreland
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