Flight 93 passengers’ actions ‘message of bravery, selflessness and heroism’

September 11, 2015

Fourteen years ago, 40 brave men and women decided to fight back against the Flight 93 hijackers.

In honor of those 40 heroes, the new Flight 93 Visitor Center was dedicated to the passengers on Sept. 10, 2015.  The Flight 93 Visitor Center has been designed to follow the same path the plane took just before crashing into the field. The Visitor Center opened for the first time that day and will continue to remain open.

Walls of the Flight 93 Visitor Center showing the path of United Airliner.

Paul Wintruba

The “September 11th Observance” featured the Name Presentation and “Bells of Remembrance” and speeches from many esteemed speakers including: Jonathan Jarvis, National Park Service Director; PA Gov. Tom Wolf; Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security; Gordon Felt, President of the Families of Flight 93 and Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News Correspondent.

Jarvis spoke of why it is important and an honor for the National Park Service to tell the stories of history, including those of Gettysburg, the 45 mi. walk from Selma to Montgomery and the story of Flight 93.

“We do this for a nation and a world that is still dealing with terrorists that want to tear down civil societies,” said Jarvis. “And we do this as a reminder to those who wish us harm; that Americans and their allies don’t go down without a fight.”

Wolf then took the stage speaking on how the men and women aboard were the first to have the courage to face a forever changed nation after the events that took place that day.

“In doing what they did, they taught us something about what that new world might mean for us, might ask of us, and in doing what they did, they showed each of us what good we are actually capable of doing,” said Wolf.

After the attacks of 9/11, this is where the United States Department of Homeland Security was born, said Johnson. He went on to talk about how the terrorists believed they were destroying the strength of America, but that they were mistaken. Johnson said that heart of America lies within the strength, determination and resilience of the American people themselves.

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of United States Department of Homeland Security
Jeh Johnson, Secretary of United States Department of Homeland Security

Paul Wintruba

Felt, who’s brother was on Flight 93, said that the actions of the passengers serve as a message to all people.

“The one constant that remains sacred to that day, is the message of bravery, selflessness and heroism…with the opening of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center, their story, their lives and their collective actions will be preserved for now, tomorrow and in perpetuity,” said Felt.

…their story, their lives and their collective actions will be preserved for now, tomorrow and in perpetuity.”

— Gordon Felt, on the passengers of Flight 93

Wrapping up the end of the observance was Miklaszewski, who was the Pentagon correspondent at the time of 9/11. Giving an account of the events that day while he was reporting live outside the Pentagon, he also spoke about how the brave actions of the passengers aboard Flight 93 would live on forever.

“The fact is: on that fateful day, while all of us were writing only the first page of 9/11 history, the 40 on Flight 93 were writing their enduring legacy,” said Miklaszewski.


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