Tuesday, May 3, 2011
About 800 people made their way to the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County yesterday. They visited a construction site, where work is underway to complete the first phase of a permanent memorial by the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. They came after hearing that a U.S. Navy SEAL team had killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
The visitors were quiet on Monday, but the backhoes and bulldozers didn’t stop. The first component of the 58 million dollar monument is scheduled to open in four months.
Site superintendent Keith Newlin says the goal is a two-part ceremony on September 10th and 11th.
"We’ll have two ceremonies, then. On the tenth we’ll have a ribbon cutting. On the 11th we’ll have our typical memorial service."
Newlin explains what visitors will see, beginning this September.
"They’ll come down here, they’ll see a new visitor’s shelter. And then they’ll start their walk along the green field, and come closer and closer to the sacred ground. They’ll have a wall of names with all 40 passengers and crew."
The final monument will include a wind chime tower, with 40 bells...1 for each of the passengers and crew.... and groves of trees.
The current temporary memorial is sparse. A shed hosts a display about the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath, and a chain link fence overlooks the crash site.
Beverly Hoover of Landsdale, Montgomery County stopped by the site on a whim Monday. She was impressed by how much construction has changed it since her last visit.
"And I want to come back in September when the memorial is dedicated. I think if we can, we’ll be here."