Last updated: September 11. 2013 11:20PM - 649 Views
KEVIN BEGOS Associated Press



Navy Quartermaster Matthew Konchan of Johnstown stands in a field of black-eyed Susans as he waits to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Wednesday in Shanksville.
Navy Quartermaster Matthew Konchan of Johnstown stands in a field of black-eyed Susans as he waits to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial on Wednesday in Shanksville.
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SHANKSVILLE — Under a blue sky and against a backdrop of rolling hills, family, friends and others gathered Wednesday in a western Pennsylvania field to mourn and praise the passengers and crew who died 12 years ago after fighting back against the hijackers of United Flight 93.


“In a period of 22 minutes, our loved ones made history,” said Gordon Felt, the president of the Families of Flight 93, whose brother, Edward, was among the aboard the hijacked plane on Sept. 11, 2001.


At the Flight 93 National Memorial ceremony, families of those aboard the plane, along with about 200 people, read the names of 33 passengers and seven crew members aloud, and bells tolled for each, as they marked the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.


As the names were read, a light haze began to burn off the surrounding hills. The memorial wall of white stone has each victim’s name engraved on a separate panel, and the scene was framed by yellow wildflowers in the nearby fields.


Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it was hijacked with the likely goal of crashing it into the White House or Capitol.


As passenger Todd Beamer issued the rallying cry “Let’s roll,” he and others rushed down the airliner’s aisle to try to overwhelm the hijackers after learning of the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.


The 9/11 Commission concluded that the hijackers downed the plane as the hostages revolted.


Later Wednesday, park rangers and volunteers gave presentations about Flight 93 and the creation of the memorial park, located in Shanksville, about 75 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.


A groundbreaking for a 6,800-square-foot visitor center was held Tuesday. The building will be broken in two at the point of the plane’s flight path overhead. It is expected to open in late 2015.


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