Here’s a look at the Flight 93 National Memorial. It is a memorial to the 40 passengers and crew who died on United Flight 93 on September 11, 2001 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The memorial site is managed by the National Park Service. The memorial encompasses 2,200 acres and the “Tower of Voices,” a 93-foot-tall tower with 40 wind chimes.
Features include the Memorial Plaza, 40 Memorial Groves and the Allée, a formal walking path.
September 11, 2001 – United Airlines Flight 93, traveling from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, crashes in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Hijackers were directing the plane towards Washington, DC, but were disrupted by passengers. All passengers, crew and four hijackers are killed.
September 24, 2002 – The Flight 93 National Memorial Act is passed, creating the country’s 386th national park.
September 7, 2005 – A design by Paul Murdoch Architects of Los Angeles, “The Crescent of Embrace,” is chosen for the memorial. A committee of 15 people, including family members of the victims, chose it out of more than 1,000 entries.
August 31, 2009 – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announces the National Park Service has reached agreements with seven of eight landowners to purchase the land necessary for the memorial, at an estimated $9.5 million. The eighth parcel, owned by Svonavec, Inc., will be taken by eminent domain after an agreement cannot be reached. This parcel includes most of the crash site.
November 7, 2009 – The groundbreaking ceremony at the memorial site takes place.
September 10, 2011 – The first features of the Flight 93 National Memorial are dedicated and opened to the public. Vice President Joe Biden attends the ceremony.
September 11, 2011 – President Barack Obama participates in commemorations at the memorial site.
May 30, 2012 – The National Park Service completes the planting of the 40 Memorial Groves.
April 2013 – More than 500 volunteers plant 15,500 seedlings across 23 acres. Trees planted for reforestation in the area will serve as a windbreak for the trees in the Memorial Groves.
October 3, 2014 – A fire breaks out at the memorial, destroying the headquarters complex. Although most of the 60,000 tribute items are stored off-site, important items, including the flag that flew over the US Capitol on September 11, 2001, are destroyed. No initial cause of the fire is determined, but arson and foul play are ruled out.
February 6, 2016 – The National Park Service releases a report with the findings of its investigation into the 2014 fire. Improperly discarded smoking material (possibly a cigarette), landscaping mulch too close to the building and flammable decking material may have fueled the fire but investigators were unable to determine exactly how the blaze started. More than 300 photographs and 25 personal mementos were lost in the fire.
September 9, 2018 – The National Park Service hosts the official dedication ceremony of the Tower of Voices.