When our family found out we’d be traveling to southwestern Pennsylvania during December 2021, the search for things to do and see began. We wondered, can you visit the Flight 93 crash site? Talking with friends we were traveling with, we found out, yes, you can visit the Flight 93 crash site. The National Memorial was only 30 minutes from the rental home. Therefore, we knew this would be one of the must do things during our trip.
What is the Flight 93 National Memorial?
I realize there may be people unaware of what the Flight 93 National Memorial is, and why it would be worth visiting. Coming up on 21 years since the tragic day of September 11, 2001, we must continue to “Never Forget” the people and families whose lives were forever changed.
Established in September 2002 by President George W Bush, and managed by the National Parks Service, the Flight 93 National Memorial is a place to honor the 40 passengers and crew members aboard Flight 93. This was one of the four planes hijacked that day. But once the passengers became aware of what happened in New York City, and The Pentagon, they decided to take charge, and will forever be remembered as selfless heroes.
Where is the memorial for Flight 93?
The Flight 93 crash site is located in southwestern Pennsylvania. It’s a little over an hour drive, southeast of Pittsburgh.
How long does it take to tour the Flight 93 Memorial?
The time it will take you to explore and tour the Flight 93 Memorial, depends on your interests, and how much time you take to read all the educational materials throughout the park.
Visitor Center and Overlook
Our first stop was to the visitor center and overlook. We took our time, and walked the final flight path to the overlook. Here you can see the crash site in the distance. You can also see the continuance of the black granite flight pathway.
After taking turns with the girls, we each took a turn going into the visitors center, while the others took care of the dogs. Out of respect, there’s no pictures or video allowed inside the visitor center. It’s very educational, and I warn you, there will be tears, and a flood of multiple emotions.
Inside the visitor center, there is an exhibit about Flight 93, the passengers, the investigation and more. A bookstore and souvenirs can be found on the way out. For more information about Flight 93, you can visit the website HERE.
Once we finished at the visitor center, we drove down to Memorial Plaza. Again, the dogs were not allowed except in the parking lot. So we took turns walking out to the Flight 93 crash site, and Wall of Names.
As you walk towards to plaza walkway, there is visitor shelter. A park ranger should be on duty, so you can asks questions. Programs are held in this area, where you can sit on the benches, pay respects, leave notes and flowers, or just reflect.
Just as at the visitor center, there’s lots of educational signs to read along the walkway. Some explain all the thought and special details that went into the design of the park.
Wall of Names
Along the very end of the flight path, and final approach, is the white marble Wall of Names. The Wall of Names contains the names of all 40 passengers of Flight 93. Where the black granite path ends, is the Ceremonial Gate, made of hemlock wood. Hemlock wood was chosen because of the hemlock trees damaged at the impact site. You can look through the gate, and see the boulder, and impact site.
Tower of Voices
Lastly, we drove back toward the entrance to stop at the Tower of Voices. Dedicated in September of 2020, the Tower of Voices is 93 feet tall, and holds 40 chimes to represent the passengers and crew. There are no other chime structures in the world like this one.
Even though we were there on a windy day, we only heard a couple chimes. And didn’t catch any of them on our video. If you’d like to hear the chimes and learn more about the Tower of Voices, you can do so HERE.
It took us about 2 hours to do our tour of everything. Mind you, we were there in December, and it was cold and windy that day. Therefore, had we been there on a warmer day, I would have loved to walk the trails in the field.
Why is there a boulder at the Flight 93 Memorial?
The sandstone boulder was placed at the edge of the impact site in 2011. It was moved from up where the Tower of Voices is located. It’s just to mark the impact crash site.
Is there an entrance fee for the Flight 93 Memorial?
There is no entrance fee for either the Flight 93 Memorial Park, or the visitors center.
Flight 93 National Memorial hours
Memorial grounds are open sunrise to sunset, year around, including all holidays, weather permitting.
Visitor Center Hours: Open daily 9am – 5pm
Exceptions: Closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
Are pets allowed at the Flight 93 National Memorial?
Leashed pets are allowed into the park, but they are only allowed around the parking areas and trails. We were also allowed to take them by the Tower of Voices. Please be respectful of the rules, and pick up after your pet too.
Is the Flight 93 crash site worth visiting?
The Flight 93 crash site is totally worth visiting. It’s a great way to pay respects to the heroes on that sad day in American history. In addition, we must Never Forget, and I pray our country can come back together like we did almost 21 years ago. If you get the chance, I hope you can visit the Flight 93 crash site. We’ve already had several friends go since finding out about our experience.
More National Park exploring in our Gatlinburg for Couples