Posted by: mckenzie68 | July 20, 2010

Flight 93 Memorial – The first heroes of the war on terror. July 7 or Day 80

We got up early, packed and hit the road, fortunately the heat had relented somewhat, and the fact we were heading into the mountains helped keep the heat within reasonable limits.

We had no trouble finding the Flight 93 memorial which was under substantial construction of the site.  As we reached the main road to the site two cruiser bike were coming in the opposite direction and I assumed they were turning despite no turn signal, lucky we slowed as sure enough they turned in fron of us, not very nice of them.   The ride was not about them so I focused on looking for the memorial.  I saw the sign for the memorial site and was surprised to see the bikers continue to ride hard right past it.  I almost second guessed myself, but went with the sign and followed it through the construction to the memorial site.

We parked and walked around the temporary (even though we are 9 years on) memorial.  I was moved to tears looking at the pictures and stories about the people on the flight.  It was these people who are the first heroes of the war…they did not sit and wait to vote on what to do, they fought their attackers and paid for it with their lives, and in doing so, saved the lives of many others in the city of Washington DC.

It was this battle and crash that was foremost in my mind as I walked around the memorial site.  I took pictures of the memorial and the impact area a few hundred yards away, marked by an American Flag and a fence.  I also left a notation in the guest book thanking the hero’s for their sacrifice.  It made me reflect upon the feelings I had on September 11, 2001.  Those emotions came flooding back as I stood there in silence.  I recalled the moment that I watched one of the planes crash into the south tower live.  It was on CNN and they were talking with “Winston” who freaked out on the announcer telling him that another plane had hit the towers, the announcer was clearly was not watching the monitor, and he would have seen what Winston and I saw, a passenger aircraft hitting the WTC tower 2.  Later I watched as TV crews showed footage from the flight 93 site…a huge smoldering hole in the ground.  Now I was standing right there, and there was some semblance of closure.

I was glad I had taken the time to pay homage to the heroes of flight 93…It reminded me of the saying coined by Edmund Burke that I use so often ”the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, they had done what needed to be done, others should learn from that.

We left that hallowed ground and ended up on another expensive toll highway and made it as far as Harrisburg, PA, however the heat had returned and had taken it’s toll on us both.  We were spent, literally having nothing left despite it being around 1230 hrs.  We also lucked out as the HIE had one, yes that is right, only one room left!  Yay us.

I made a crazy trip to a Walmart about 2 miles away, picked up some munchies, pop, hair dye, etc.  When I returned I filled up Rae’s chain lube reservoir, and checked tire pressures on both bikes.  We arranged to meet with Bill (a friend of ours who does corporate training) to meet him in NYC.  We were both excited to head out, and stay in NYC…a good end to an emotional day.  I will not forget the sacrifice of those people on flight 93…………

Ray

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