DOINews: NPS-Flight 93 National Memorial: Sept. 11 Heroes Honored at Annual Ceremony

Last edited 09/05/2019

NPS Flight 93 National Memorial: Bells of Remembrance
The Flight 93 National Memorial holds its annual Bells of Remembrance ceremony on Sept. 11, 2014, to honor the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. Photo appears on NPS-Flight 93 Memorial's Facebook page.

Flight 93 National Memorial honored the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 on the 13th anniversary of 9/11 with the annual observance on Thursday, Sept, 11, 2014.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert, who was speaker on 9/11, delivered remarks and presented the park with the flag that flew that day over the U.S. Capitol, the terrorists' target.

"Today that flag would not have been in existence ... if not for the great heroes who we'll hold in our hearts for ever and ever," Hastert said.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, also spoke during the ceremony. At 10:03 a.m. – the moment Flight 93 crashed – the names of the passengers and crew members were read and the memorial's Bells of Remembrance tolled 40 times in their memory.

The ceremony was also marked by the first public display of the congressional gold medal that was presented to Flight 93 National Memorial by U.S House and Senate leaders in a ceremony at the U.S. States Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

The Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act directed that a congressional gold medal, the highest civilian award the U.S. Congress can bestow, be struck for each of the 9/11 sites to honor the men and women who perished as a result of the terrorist attacks. The Flight 93 medal was displayed in the park through Sept. 14; it will go on permanent display in the new Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center, which is scheduled to be dedicated in September 2015.

The obverse of the medal depicts the rural Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. The design features an image of the sandstone boulder that marks the crash site, and the towering hemlock trees at the edge of the field. The medal is inscribed with these words: “A common field one day, a field of honor forever” and “Act of Congress 2011.”

The reverse of the congressional gold medal features forty stars on a raised border, representing the forty passengers and crew members of Flight 93, and a sentinel eagle clasping laurel branches. The medal depicts the western front of the U.S. Capitol. Above the dome of the Capitol is the inscription: “We honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who perished in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001. Their courageous action will be remembered forever.”

For images of the Flight 93, World Trade Center and Pentagon gold medals, click here. below.

By: Mike Litterst, NPS

Sept. 15, 2014

Related Links:

NPS-Flight 93 National Memorial

NPS-The Morning Report

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