A Fitting Memorial

By Mark

Howdy Folks, as threatened or promised here is Part II of our weekend in Pittsburg.  While we were driving up to the wedding we saw the road signs for the United Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, PA.  We decided that it would be worthwhile to make a detour on our way back home. 

On the morning of 9-11-2001, United flights from all over the country took off.  Flight 93 from Newark, NJ was headed to San Francisco on that Tuesday Morning.  Because of heavy volume at the airport, it left the ground about 40 minutes late.  That delay made all the difference.  Sometime after takeoff, the 4 onboard hijackers killed a first class passenger and entered the cockpit, killing or incapacitating the crew.  They herded the remaining 37 passengers and crew to the back of the airplane.  The plane then turned around and headed for Washington, DC.

Because of the late takeoff, the other 3 airplanes had already hit their targets. Some of the passengers used the onboard air phones to report their delay and because of this, learned that this was no “ordinary” hijacking.   The people on board decided that they were either going to take the plane back, or at least stop the terrorists from completing their plot.  They boiled water in the coffee pots, pushed the carts up the aisle and attacked.  From the cockpit audio, (this flight was the only one where the black boxes were recovered intact), we know that they almost made it.  The terrorists tried to severely roll and bank the aircraft as well as putting it into a steep dive.  Apparently they had their own instructions and they chose to crash, right where they were.  They inverted the plane and drove it at a -40 degree down angle into a field among a huge grove of hemlock trees in rural Pennsylvania.  The impact created a huge hole and since the plane still had so much fuel onboard, the fireball burned half of the trees away.  Within 15 minutes Police, Fire and Rescue were at the scene, but all they could do was to put out the flames. 

The site has now been declared a National Memorial and a permanent facility is still under construction and won’t be finished for a few years.  

They have done a fine job building the initial pieces, all of which will be incorporated into the final design.  There is a low black stone wall marking the path from the parking lot to the main memorial.  It sort of zig-zags along in a seemingly random fashion, but it marks the outer limits of the debris field.  They have converted the temporary yellow tape into a more lasting and somber walk.  

Out in the center of the debris field, there is a large granite boulder.  It marks the main impact point where the airplane hit.  Although they managed to recover enough remains to positively identify all of the passengers, crew and terrorists, the force of the impact and the heat of the flames mean that the entire area is still a final resting place.  

Finally, at the end of the walkway is a white marble wall composed of 40 panels.  People leave personal remembrances and tokens at the wall.  

Each panel holds the name of one of the people on that flight.  The wall is aligned towards their final flight path. At the other end of the path, and only 125 miles away is the Capitol of the United States.   “Let’s roll” was one of the final words heard by family on the ground.  They did, and we as a nation are grateful for their sacrifice.  

Saturday Links 20140524

By Roger (24 May 2014)

There are certain things that catch our eye when we're out reading or surfing the internet. We want to share these with our viewers. These links will take you to cool events; random thoughts bouncing around our craniums; inspirational pieces; and/or things that amplify what we've recently written about. Depending on our time available, we may not post it every week. 

Feel free to send me an email – roger@efcubed.com – if you have something you want to contribute to our list or some topic you want us to find out about. Mark and I love to get feedback, especially any comments, here on the website.

Memorial Day

Learn the history of the Memorial Day holiday we are celebrating, this weekend, from the Department of Veterans Affairs here. It is much more than a weekend off and the day the pools open.


I think I've mentioned the This Week in Photo podcast before. This is a weekly podcast, hosted by Frederick Van Johnson. He is joined by a rotating panel of other photographers from around the world. They discuss photo news; answer a question or two; and, generally, have fun with photography. Find them on the web here or subscribe on your podcasting app.

People Behaving Badly

Apparently, some folks don't understand that posting someone else's work and taking credit for it yourself is a bad thing. The Stop Stealing Photos website (here) would like to warn you that this happens all the time. I'm not sure everyone who comments has the most mature attitude, but I do support the effort to expose thieves.

Beautiful Products

I am a big fan of the work done at Artistic Photo Canvas (here). They have made several canvases for me, and their work is top-notch. Print them large. People love the look of a big canvas print on the wall.

Memorial Day

By Roger (22 May 2014)

We will be enjoying ourselves this long weekend, and we hope you do, too.

Just, please, remember the cost associated with the Memorial Day holiday.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery

Our thoughts are with all the families who lost loved ones in the service of the United States..

Special thoughts go to the family and friends of Sergeant Timothy Douglas Sayne, 28 November 1979 – 18 September 2011.

SGT Timothy Sayne

SGT Timothy Sayne