Saturday, November 3, 2012

Shanksville and the Pentagon Memorials

Both of theSeptember 11th memorials are striking in their simplicity.  At the Pentagon the victims are ranked in age order with the little three year old girl on the plane being the first bench as you come in.  The benches are oriented to show if the person was on the plane or in the Pentagon. The angle of the lines is the direction the plane came in to hit the Pentagon. The number of benches in each line gets greater and greater and then starts to get smaller again until you reach the last person, a 71 year old  retired military man on  the plane.  You can see on
the wall of the Pentagon where the repairs have been made.

 At Shanksville, the site also follows the direction the plane came in to crash.  There is a wall listing  the names of all the people on the flight.  At the end of the wall is a gate and a mowed pathway leading out to the place the plane came to rest.  Only family members are allowed to visit the actual spot.  There is a boulder and personal memorials there.  The two memorials are so effective and to me each had a different purpose.  The Pentagon memorializes the innocent victims of a horrific act of terrorism. The passengers did not know what their fate was going to be.  The Flight 93 Memorial is different.  It memorializes the innocent lives lost, but more importantly to me, it recognises the courage that ordinary people possess.  That people will take action despite the hopelessness of the situation, and while their lives were lost many others were saved. 
We were so grateful to have  been able to visit both the memorials. 

No comments: