DAR holds ceremony at Flight 93 Memorial
Nearly 40 local residents enjoyed a chartered bus trip with the Pack Horse Ford Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution to Pennsylvania on Saturday, Oct. 8, with the first stop at the Flight 93 Memorial for the 15th anniversary of the tragedy. A wreath-laying ceremony was held by the Chapter after touring the Visitor Center.
The two-hour journey over hills, fields and valleys scattered with cows, cornstalks and hay made pleasant scenery despite the rain. The tree leaves of yellow, gold, red and orange were just beginning to turn. The rain, however, seemed only fitting for the solemn visit to the Flight 93 Memorial. Sept. 11, 2001, began as a typical day on board Flight 93 from Newark, New Jersey headed for San Francisco, California, but in 46 minutes from takeoff, countless lives would change forever.
Visitors refrained from talking as they toured the exhibits arranged chronologically inside the Visitor Center. They watched and listened intently to a recorded broadcast of former President George W. Bush announcing two air crafts were deliberately flown into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City and a third plane was flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.
Four terrorists hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 and overtook the cockpit. The crew and passengers banded together and attempted to gain control of the aircraft. After a six-minute struggle, at 10:03 a.m., the plane crashed upside-down at 563 miles per hour into a meadow near the small farming village of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In the distance, a peaceful setting of a white farmhouse and red barn can be seen. There were no survivors-all 33 passengers and seven crew members were killed.
As the group moved on, another exhibit held debris from the wreckage-sad reminders of the lives lost. Another exhibit case held mementos left at the site to honor those who sacrificed their lives. One note read, “A common field one day. A field of honor forever.”
A touch screen allows visitors to learn a little about each individual who died. One of the most difficult exhibits was to hear actual recordings of three passengers who left messages on answering machines. They were hopeful they would live, but seemed to sense they would likely perish. The crash site was 18 minutes flying time from Washington, D.C. The actions of the unarmed passengers and crew thwarted and defeated the terrorists’ plan.
To pay respect, the Pack Horse Ford Chapter held a ceremony at the Memorial Plaza. Member Darla Ambrose said a few ceremonial words and placed a patriotic wreath she made between two American flags. Henrietta Bedinger Lee Society, National Society Children of the American Revolution member Sam Lake led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and Secretary Marsha Krashoc led the group in prayer. The rain felt like tears shed for those who sacrificed so much for this nation.
The Visitor Center Complex includes exhibits, a viewing window, a bookstore, the Flight Path Walkway and Overlook. There is the Wall of Names and Memorial Plaza, where visitors can view the crash site. Only family members can visit the actual crash site, since this is the final resting place of the crew and passengers. At the annual ceremony held each Sept. 11, the names of the crew and passengers are read aloud and Bells of Remembrance are rung in their memory.
Only 30 minutes away from Shanksville, the group traveled to the town of Bedford, where beautiful historic homes line the streets. Passengers gasped when the beautiful Omni Bedford Springs Resort came into view. The attendees dined in the 1796 room with Hitchcock chairs and comfy love seats. The meal included salad, Asiago Penne Alfredo, Roasted Broccolini and Pesto Grilled Chicken Breast. Dessert included scrumptious dark chocolate covered cheesecake bites, strawberry Mousse tartlets and mini Cannoli. An added treat during dessert was speaker and author William Defibaugh who spoke about the history of Bedford Springs. There are actually eight springs in the area.
All too soon it was time to leave the toasty fireplaces, inviting nooks and enticing shops to board the bus once again.
The final destination was the National Museum of the American Coverlet. Owners Melinda and Laszlo Zongor explained that coverlets are not quilts, but are woven bedcovers worked on a loom by a weaver. The museum focuses on coverlets made from 1771 to 1889. The group learned there are geometric coverlets as well as figured and fancy coverlets that can include floral, animal, architectural and other motifs. Because most looms were narrow, coverlets are often made of two woven panels joined with a center seam. Weaving through the various rooms filled with beautiful coverlets, the group discovered and appreciated the history, art and craft of their ancestors.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.
Its members are descendants from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 183,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.
To learn more about the Pack Horse Ford Chapter, contact Regent Kathy Sholl at 304-876-1250.
To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org.