As we stepped off the bus down by the Arrival Court, a massive crowd had gathered due to the tight security and metal detector screening. Waiting to get through security provided the opportunity to walk around the Memorial Plaza and read the information kiosks detailing the events on September 11, 2001, Flight 93, the passengers and crew, the investigation, and the final plans for the site. Looking at some of the pictures from the crash and reading the about the heroes aboard the flight really puts a personal perspective on the tragedy and can really pull at your heartstrings. Just as we were making our way through the metal detectors, we saw the Marine One helicopter flying overhead, marking the arrival of the president and first lady after having spent the morning at a ceremony at the World Trade Center site. After laying a wreath at the marble wall, they spent some time shaking hands and speaking with the crowd. The president and first lady then disappeared behind the marble wall and reemerged out by the memorial boulder and silently paid their respects. It’s reported they then spent some private time with the victims’ families and friends before boarding Marine One and heading to a ceremony at the Pentagon.
We spent a little bit more time at the memorial, then boarded the busses back to our bikes. During the short trip back to the bikes, I found it hard not to reflect on the overwhelming experience of visiting the crash site. Standing amongst thousands of people all feeling such strong sorrow and deep emotion, I felt drained and weighted down. Once on the road, the vibration of the bike and the hum of the engine and exhaust help soothe and relax me, and I felt a little more at ease.
With still quite a bit of daylight left, Bill and Mel decided to pack up and head home Sunday afternoon. Monday morning, Gary took Dave and I on a ride along some more of Pennsylvania’s incredible country roads. But then as with all good times, there always comes an end. And after five days of amazing riding, once-in-a-lifetime memories, and hanging out with new friends, it was time to go back home.
I can’t thank my friend Gary enough for offering to take me in for the weekend, introducing me to his riding buddies, and providing me with the wonderful opportunity to be a part of such a memorable and special occasion. And a special thank-you to Kim and the Z&M Cycle Sales staff for loaning me a bike and the generous hospitality. If you are ever in the Greensburg area, stop by and say hi or a visit them online at zmcycle.com.
I barely scratched the surface of how moving the Flight 93 Memorial is. Visiting the Flight 93 National Memorial really gave me a greater perspective of the tragic loss and sacrifices our country suffered on Sept. 11. There are several destinations every biker has on their list of places to visit, and in my opinion, this needs to be at the top of everybody’s list. The 11th anniversary of the tragedy is only a few months away, if you haven’t been yet, maybe a trip is in order. I can’t even imagine how impactful the memorial will be once it’s complete. To learn more about the site visit, nps.gov/flni, and to donate to the Flight 93 National Memorial, visit honorflight93.org. HB
The Arrival Court at the Flight 93 National Memorial has several kiosks with information educating readers about the events of Sept. 11 and the crash site. This kiosk displays the 40 passengers and crew members who were aboard the flight that fateful day.
The Arrival Court at the Flight 93 National Memorial has several kiosks with information e
Shaksville's new Fire Chief, Sean Daniels, aboard his motorcycle that was custom-painted to commemorate September 11, 2001.
Shaksville's new Fire Chief, Sean Daniels, aboard his motorcycle that was custom-painted t
Our pack for the weekend, (left to right) Gary, Dave, Mel, Bill, and myself.
Artist Mozina (email@example.com)shows off the artwork she created to honor war veterans and Sept. 11.
Artist Mozina (firstname.lastname@example.org)shows off the artwork she created to honor war veterans