The remembrance and solemness that I felt pulling onto the National Park property of the Flight 93 Memorial was immense.
I visited the memorial back in June on the way home from a work trip in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I was led through the rolling hills of Cambria and Somerset counties as I came upon the entrance. The drive back to where Flight 93 made its final resting place on September 11, 2001 is not a short one. It winds through farmers’ former fields, and newly graded landscapes covered with beautiful native trees and vegetation. I could tell I was headed nowhere but somewhere.
After I parked, I walked the concrete and granite trail to first the signs marking the names of the passengers, the lives lost…here.
I walked the black trail where I passed numerous mementos that had been left along the way for those whose lives had been given.
I left a note, thanking a special friend’s husband for his service to the country, for his own life that was in given protecting our freedom, and for all the others before and after him.
I walked that path, seeing what was ahead, somehow knowing that this was the end of the path, the end of their journey. Tears welled, an emotion came over me both of sorrow and pain and grief, all familiar, and then of pride. Pride in my country.
Honoring all who gave before and after 9/11/01. We will never forget.