Entries in Shanksville (4)


Leon Panetta Pays Tribute to Passengers and Crew of Flight 93

Department of Defense/Glenn Fawcett(SHANKSVILLE, Pa.) -- While Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech Tuesday at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., Secretary of State Leon Panetta offered his own tribute Monday at the crash site where 40 passengers and crew members fought valiantly against al Qaeda hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001.

It is believed that the hijackers had planned to crash the plane into either the White House or the Capitol but were thwarted when those aboard Flight 93 refused to allow the terrorists to carry out their mission.

Panetta, who was making his first visit to the memorial in Shanksville, said the crash site was "hallowed ground because this is the final resting place of American patriots."

The defense chief suggested that the 40 on board Flight 93 were among the first casualties of a new war, adding, "We honor those and all of those who have fought and died for this country who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend the United States of America."

Although al Qaeda appears to be less potent than it was 11 years ago, especially following the death of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Panetta warned that the group remains a threat and that the U.S. will remain vigilant in stopping the movement whether it's here or overseas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


9/11 Remembered: 'Nothing Can Break Will of USA'

David Handschuh-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama closed a day of tributes and memorials with a paean to the resilience of the American people in the decade following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, saying that "nothing can break the will of a truly United States of America."

Obama spoke of the men and women who have chosen to sign up for military service in the last decade, saying that too many of them "will never come home" from tours abroad.

"Our strength is not measured in our ability to stay in these places; it comes from our commitment to leave those lands to free people and sovereign states, and our desire to move from a decade of war to a future of peace," he said in his speech at the Concert for Hope in Washington D.C. Sunday evening.

Obama made it clear that the character of the United States has not changed since 9/11.

"These past 10 years underscore the bonds between all Americans.  We have not succumbed to suspicion and mistrust.  After 9/11, President Bush made clear what we reaffirm today: the United States will never wage war against Islam or any religion," he said, reaffirming the phrase on the Seal of the United States: e pluribus unum -- out of many, we are one.

"The determination to move forward as one people" will be the legacy of 9/11.  "It will be said of us that we kept that faith; that we took a painful blow, and emerged stronger," Obama said.

The president's speech came at the end of a day when families, rescue workers and politicians gathered amid a mix of tears, applause and patriotic cheers of "U-S-A" at 9/11 memorials in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks brought special ceremonies at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the planes crashed.

Obama laid a wreath of white flowers outside the Pentagon as a brass quintet played "Amazing Grace" Sunday afternoon, before he and first lady Michelle Obama spoke with family members of victims.

Earlier, Obama read a Psalm at the morning ceremony at the World Trade Center, and then arrived to applause and chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A" at a wreath-laying ceremony in Shanksville at noon, where he and the first lady shook hands and spoke with many members of the crowd gathered there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Honors Flight 93 at Shanksville Memorial 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(SHANKSVILLE, Pa.) -- After attending a memorial service at ground zero in lower Manhattan, President and Mrs. Obama flew to Shanksville, Pa., where United Flight 93 crashed ten years ago Sunday, killing everyone on board.

After spending more than an hour meeting with family members at the new Flight 93 memorial, the Obamas walked onto the meadow, near the sight of the plane crash. The first couple laid a white rose and carnation wreath at the new memorial, a marble Wall of Names.

Holding hands, the first couple paused for a moment of silent reflection at the final resting place of the flight's victims.

The 40 passengers and crew of United 93 are remembered as heroes who thwarted a planned attack on Washington.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


40 Victims of Flight 93 Remembered in Memorial Dedication

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(SHANKSVILLE, Pa.) -- As guests entered the Flight 93 memorial dedication ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania Saturday, a brass quintet dressed in white Navy uniforms performed solemn songs on stage around a basket of white roses.

No one was sitting outside the memorial selling T-shirts or snacks.  Instead, the town is in quiet remembrance, paying their respects to the 40 people who died on Sept. 11, 2001, when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in Stonycreek Township, just north of Shanksville.  The hijackers intended to crash the plane into the Capitol building or the White House in Washington, D.C., but passengers fought back and caused the plane to crash early, thwarting the attack.

The flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001 was brought to Shanksville shortly thereafter to fly over the site of the Flight 93 crash, while workers looked for survivors in the wreckage.  On Saturday, that flag was raised once again at the dedication ceremony as a female soldier sang the Star Spangled Banner.

The memorial features a stone wall with the names of the 40 victims standing next to a field of grass and yellow wildflowers.  Trees line the walkway next to the wall.

As each name was read, two bells were rung.  A bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" followed the reading of the names.  Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan sang "I Will Remember You."

"In the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like part of a different era," said former President George W. Bush.  But for the families, "that day will never feel like history.  The memory of that morning was fresh, and so is the pain."

"One of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real, and so is courage," Bush added.  "Americans are alive today because the passengers and crew chose to act, and America is forever grateful."

"There has always been a special place in the common memory for people who deliberately, knowingly, certainly laid down their lives for other people to live," said former President Bill Clinton.  "Ordinary people, given no time to decide, did the right thing...I hope and pray to God that people will remember this."

Vice President Joe Biden said passionately that the American spirit cannot be defeated, no matter what tragedy or hardship we face.

"And so we stand where it began," Biden said.  "We think of them.  We think of our nation.  We think of our history.  We think of the future.  And we think of it, because of them, with a confidence, knowing that ordinary citizens will continue to stare down fear, overwhelm evil, and bring forth hope where there seems to be none...that heroism is who we are, and that courage lies deepest and beats loudest in the heart of this nation."

President Obama and the first lady will visit the site on Sunday for the second phase of the dedication ceremony.

On Monday, three coffins filled with unidentified human remains from the crash will be buried at the memorial site in a private funeral service for family members.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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