Shanksville, Pa., Remembers Flight 93 Victims

Shanksville, Pa., honored those who died there on Sept. 11, 2001, with, among other things, a children's choir performance and a speech from Rep. Mark Critz, who was born and raised in the area.

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JEFF BRADY: I'm Jeff Brady at the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville. A service for the 40 victims on that plane 10 years ago had a rural Pennsylvania feel with a stage surrounded by fields of wildflowers and the Johnstown Symphony Children's Choir.

JOHNSTOWN SYMPHONY CHILDREN: (Singing) Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight...

BRADY: Among those who spoke, Congressman Mark Critz, who was born and raised in this area.

MARK CRITZ: You know, I've just about ruined my handkerchief, and I hope to get through this.

BRADY: Critz told the crowd about a moment yesterday when a National Park Service employee showed him a long wall that's the centerpiece of the memorial.

CRITZ: And she said, well, remember that this wall is the flight path. And 10 years of emotion just came rushing in as those names on that wall, those lives that were snuffed out in that brief moment have meant so much to this country.

BRADY: The 40 passengers and crew on Flight 93 were called heroes repeatedly during the memorial service for fighting the hijackers and likely preventing them from reaching a fourth target. Among the several thousand who attended the service today was retired United Airlines flight attendant Cherie Ferraris, who had no direct connection to the attack.

CHERIE FERRARIS: I had to do this. I had to come, especially now. I don't know why. Closure? I don't - it's not closure. I don't know. I just had to feel it.

BRADY: A few rows down was Robin Webster of Denton, North Carolina.

ROBIN WEBSTER: Well, my cousin died on this flight. She was one of the flight attendants, the one from North Carolina.

BRADY: Sandy Bradshaw is her name, and Webster says visiting here helps her feel closer to her cousin.

WEBSTER: I've heard this from so many family members. It's like being close to their family. And just like people visit cemeteries and they have that piece of them there that's - I think that's what everybody here feels.

BRADY: Shortly after the service, President Obama and the first lady arrived to place a wreath at the memorial. Jeff Brady, NPR News, at the Flight 93 National Memorial.

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