PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the solemn day of Sept. 11, the nation remembers the nearly 3,000 lives lost from New York City, to Washington D.C., to Pennsylvania. Nearly 230 miles from Philadelphia, hundreds gathered to honor 40 of those victims, in what was once an ordinary field that became an extraordinary part of our history.
On a clear September morning, in a vast field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the nation remembered.
“Here where a common field one day, became a field of honor forever,” Vice President Mike Pence said.
It was a somber gathering at the Flight 93 National Memorial, where hundreds honored the memory of the 40 passengers and crew members who perished on board, 18 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.
“Our loved ones, those 40 heroes are remembered well and given the honor and dignity that they deserve at this site, may they rest peacefully,” Families of Flight 93 President Gordon Felt said.
“Each of us know exactly where we were on this day, one of the few days in American history, where the nation and the world seemed to stand still,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said.
The names of the passengers and crew members were read at 10:03 a.m., the exact moment Flight 93 crashed. Their names are forever etched in history at the Wall of Names and their heroic spirit is forever held in the hearts of loved ones.
“Those 40 diverse individuals formulated a plan, voted, then stood up and said, ‘No, we’re coming for you,’” Felt said. “This memorial, this sacred ground serves as a reminder to us all that the heroes of Flight 93 helped to change the course of our history.”
The years have passed, but the memories of that fateful day are vivid, in the field, where strength lives on.
“Men and women who rose up, fought back, who met unspeakable evil with selfless heroism and American strength,” Pence said.
It is believed that United Flight 93 was headed for the U.S. Capitol.
A wreath was placed at the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Memorial and small tributes were left along the memorial plaza by many of those in attendance.