50 Before 50: #8 Flight 93 Memorial

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A beautiful day, not unlike September 11, 2001.

Blue skies.

A beautiful friend who chose to accompany me to the Flight 93 Memorial on that Sunday afternoon. 

One of my favorite days of the year. 

Flight 93 is a beautiful testament to the lives of the passengers and crew of Flight 93. While the entire museum serves to honor all the lives lost on that unforgettable day, to stand on the specific site of Flight 93’s fateful demise was sobering. The park rangers shared stories, without adding shock and awe, rightfully committed to reminding us of the ordinary-ness of passengers and crew who ultimately voted to, unbeknownst to them, be remembered as brave heroes.

Listening to phone calls brought back that day as if it were yesterday.

Standing in the flight path of Flight 93 was eery, as I gazed up at the sky.

Gazing through the gate which served to close off the actual crash site, forever making it sacred ground, was a reminder that life is never guaranteed.

Knowing that this site and the debris found surrounding it served as evidence to piece together questions of the entirety of the day’s events, was mind-blowing. (For example, A hijackers credit card was found at the base of a tree.)

Paula and I shared our stories of that day. My dad stuck in Canada had to rent a car to drive home (with only one rental company being willing to waive a few unnecessary fees even with the events of the day, and a familiar littered sky of planes empty overhead in my Chicago world as I also witnessed businessmen returning home mid-day (downtown Chicago buildings were evacuated). Paula, on the other hand, sharing that she actually witnessed one of the planes as she drove in DC. That. Story. Was. Nuts.

We talked. We visited the Tower of Voices (not yet complete). We lunched. We remembered. 

While I may not make 50 experiences by July, it is days like this one which inspire me to simply say “yes” to planning outings like these, regardless of when they happen.

Thank you, Paula!

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