With another anniversary coming up to remind us of the tragic events that took place against our nation on Sept. 11, 2001, it seems an appropriate time to visit the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in honor of those who were on their way from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco on that fateful day, which started out as an ordinary day with ordinary people doing ordinary things until their lives took an extraordinary turn.
If you have not visited the memorial, it is a stunning and humbling tribute to how a tiny field in a relatively obscure area of Pennsylvania suddenly became forever changed and the center of attention as the world began to learn the story of the extraordinary courage of the men and women who interrupted the four terrorists’ plans to cause even further destruction as they turned in mid-flight and attempted to head to the U.S. Capitol as Congress was in session.
It occurred to me that these four terrorists actually gave up their lives for a failed cause. Even in their deluded thinking, that is a disgrace — no honor, no rewards, no virgins.
I can’t help but believe that God knew everyone who got on the plane that morning and what their fate would be. It was no surprise to him. Nor was the decision to allow the events to unfold as they did. He is sovereign. When you visit the memorial, among the many artifacts, displays and news events you will learn about, are also the many miracles that happened that day that prevented even greater catastrophe, such as the fact that only 33 passengers and seven crew members were aboard a plane that was designed for 176 passengers, or how one of the terrorists had a piece of paper written in his language in his pocket that survived the crash outlining their plan for that day, making the investigation and identification quicker and easier, or that no one on the ground or any buildings were destroyed.
If you haven’t taken the opportunity to visit the memorial, along with the newly constructed Tower of Voices, it would be worth the trip.
What a wonderful tribute.