I am sure most, if not all of you, remember where you were 10 years ago today!
As I have heard recently, 9/11 attacks are the Pearl Harbor of our generation.
When we were scheduled to work here in Pennsylvania in September, I was not thinking of being here on the 10th anniversary of the event. After getting here, we realized we were only about 2 hours away from the spot where Flight 93 crashed, so it was put on our list to “go see”.
Then we heard about the services that were scheduled there for the weekend. We were fortunate to be able to attend the dedication ceremony of the Flight 93 National Park at noon on Saturday.
They were expecting thousands, so we left camp at 7:20, arriving at 9:20. Second to turn into the park, we did not move for 15 minutes…. then it was slow going taking 3 hours to get to the parking lot approximately 3 miles away!! Along the way, at least one car ran out of gas and we found out the delay was due to the muddy fields. Cars were getting stuck and towed out, so they had to bring in trucks to put down gravel.
It was an amazing privilege to be present to hear our vice-president speak, plus two former presidents:
George W. Bush, who by the way had a long, standing ovation,
followed by Bill Clinton, who announced the planning of fundraising efforts to get $10 million to finish the park.
After the unveiling of the wall of names, which included 40 marble stones, each with a name, connected to form the wall along the path the plane would have taken prior to crashing, Vice President Joe Biden spoke.
The families had 30 minutes to view the wall and walk to the rock marking the place the plane hit the ground. Only family members can go behind the wall and walk to the rock, and only then on the anniversary date of 9/11.
After the family viewing time, we were able to get up close to the marble wall,
and the bells.
Views walking down the walkway back to the shuttle pick up
The road was blocked to the fire station, so we went to the next block so we could get a shot of the metal cross from ground zero. As we approached, we were told to stay on the grass….. VP Biden had made an unscheduled stop. He was giving an interview, then before we knew what was happening, he approached Paul after coming out of the fire station and had a short conversation with him. He took the time to shake our hands and we could have posed pictures with him, but did not think of it at first.
There were only about a dozen people standing around, so we got close up pictures of him and got his autograph on our program!
Gloria told him she was praying for him and he said he appreciated it.
By the time others had pictures taken it was time for him and his dozen body guards to leave.
After he left we got our picture of the ground zero cross.