A new exhibit illustrating the history of the first memorial to spring up near the Somerset County crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 is set to open this Saturday at Flight 93 National Memorial.
The display will include several items that were part of the temporary memorial, including benches, flags and a portion of the original chain-link fence on which visitors to the site hung mementos and tributes to the flight’s 40 passengers and crew members.
According to a press release issued by the National Park Service, the exhibit, “Memories from the Memorial – Looking Back 2001-2011,” will give visitors a chance to connect with Flight 93 ambassadors who serve as volunteers at the memorial.
Ambassadors will be on hand to answer any questions visitors may have and to further explain the history of the early temporary memorial’s features. The exhibit will include photographs and oral histories from past ambassadors.
Interpretive panels will also be on display to provide context and to promote the upcoming Trail of Remembrance, a new trail to the former site of the temporary memorial that is set to open in November. Visitors to the exhibit are also welcome to sign a painted replica plywood board, similar to the one that guests at the site would have viewed 18 years ago.
Flight 93 National Memorial representatives said they are hoping visitors leave the Learning Center with a better sense of the temporary memorial’s transition into the permanent memorial and how a community memorialized the 40 passengers and crew members of the flight.
“I think we have to have a memorial here,” said Vaughn Catuzzi Lohec, sister of Flight 93 passenger Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. “I think it’s important for the citizens of this country to have a place to go to where they can reflect on that, remember that day and bring their children and educate them.”
The exhibit will open to the general public beginning this Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, Aug. 3-4, Aug. 10-11, Aug. 18, Aug. 24-25, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, and Sept. 7-8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information about Flight 93 National Memorial, visit its website at www.nps.gov/flni.