Flight 93 Memorial serves as reminder and lesson to future generations

Video produced by Jordan Brown, a Student Reporting Labs intern at WITF in Pennsylvania.

In a remote field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the Flight 93 National Memorial stands as a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of those aboard the plane that crashed there on September 11, 2001.

Thousands of visitors come to the park each year to pay their respects and learn about what happened when passengers and crew members fought back against the hijackers who took control of the plane. Although many students today are too young to remember what happened that day, the memorial features many educational resources.

History teacher at Somerset High School Chris Zanoni remembers exactly what he and his students were doing when they found out that the first plane had hit the World Trade Center that morning in New York City. Forty minutes later, they learned another plane had gone down nearby.

“I tell my students, ‘it’s an injustice if you don’t go out to Flight 93, because that is such a watershed moment in history,’” Zanoni said.

Today, Zanoni incorporates the story of what happened aboard Flight 93 into his lessons about 9/11. He said he attempts to recreate the scenario faced by passengers onboard for his students by asking what they would do if they learned hijackers had taken over the plane.

“What do you do to step up? Do you, or do you tell them no?” he said. “I try to put them in the element.”

The National Park Service offers a junior ranger program at the site for students to learn more about the events of 9/11. Denise Hall-Burton brought her children to the memorial so they could learn about heroism.

“One of the things I really like about sharing this experience with my kids is not just to show them the evil thing that happened, but to show them what people did. How people came together,” she said.

  • Local Station: WITF