Globe and Boston.com coverage from September 11, 2001
List of victims
World Trade Ctr.
AA Flight 11
AA Flight 77
United Flight 93
United Flight 175
9/11 on the Web:
An archive of Websites, e-mails, photos, video, audio, and discussion groups.
A library of Web content from around the world. sept11.archive.org/
Families join public in mourning Flight 93 victims
By Todd Spangler, Associated Press, 9/11/02
SHANKSVILLE, Pa. -- A bell tolled 40 times Wednesday, once for each victim of Flight 93, as thousands solemnly gathered in a western Pennsylvania field to remember passengers and crew hailed as "citizen-soldiers" for struggling to take back their hijacked plane from four terrorists.
The tolling, accompanied by the reading of each victim's name, led up to the moment that the plane crashed at 10:06 a.m. last Sept. 11. It followed a minute of silence for world peace and a fly-over of the crash site by three military planes.
More than 500 relatives and friends of the 40 victims came to the field near tiny Shanksville to take part in the ceremony.
Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said the nation owes its gratitude to the passengers who fought back.
"Your loved ones did not expect to serve the cause of freedom on that Tuesday morning. But serve it they did. Faced with the most frightening circumstances one could imagine, they met the challenge like citizen-soldiers -- like Americans," Ridge said. "In a field in rural Pennsylvania, right prevailed over wrong and hope was born again."
His remarks were followed by a 21-gun salute and the release of 40 doves.
Flight 93 took off from Newark, N.J., bound for San Francisco. It crashed in a grass field next to a line of trees about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh -- far from the devastation in New York and at the Pentagon. Investigators said people on board confronted their four hijackers and brought down the flight far from some intended target in Washington, D.C. It was the only one of four planes that crashed Sept. 11 that didn't kill anyone on the ground.
The ceremony was awash in patriotic themes. Ridge, who stepped down as Pennsylvania governor after the attacks to serve as President Bush's homeland security director, called the passengers "America's 21st century patriots." His successor, Gov. Mark Schweiker, said the passengers proved Americans wouldn't stand aside for terrorists.
"It was here that freedom took its first stand. They decided their fate wasn't in the hands of the terrorists, it was in their own," he said.
There were also tender moments. Murial Borza, an 11-year-old who lost her half-sister, Deora Bodley, asked for the minute of silence for world peace. Sandy Dahl, the wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl said, "If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate."
In the year since the hijacking, a temporary memorial near the crash site has attracted thousands of people -- many bringing flags, dolls, photographs and flowers.
Bush was to visit the site later in the day, and meet privately with families at the actual crash site, which is considered a crime scene and remains enclosed behind a metal fence.
On Tuesday, 13 buses carried the family and friends to the site, and preparations for Wednesday's ceremony were halted to give the mourners a measure of privacy.
"The most important thing to me is that we do not forget," said Hamilton Peterson of Bethesda, Md., whose father and stepmother were killed.