By Kim Hone-McMahan
Beacon Journal columnist
SHANKSVILLE, PA.: There’s a feeling that stirs deep inside us when we are touched by something so profound that it takes our breath away. Maybe it’s God. Maybe it’s pride. Maybe it’s something that has no name.
On Friday, thousands of people, including a group of 42 students from Green Middle School, visited the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., where they experienced that feeling.
It was 14 years ago Friday that al-Qaida terrorists attacked the United States, killing thousands. Among those were 40 passengers and crew members on Flight 93, who sacrificed their lives to save thousands in Washington, D.C. — the suspected target that day.
Inside the new Memorial Visitor Center in Shanksville, Mason Doerrer stood reading the timeline of events on that fateful day. He was taller than most of the other seventh- and eighth-graders on the trip, so he was able to see around his classmates. But even if he couldn’t readily see, he waited patiently. That’s because the message in the words was that important to the boy, who was just a few weeks old on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I wanted to come here to see and experience how much they [the families of those who died in the crash] were affected. Everyone should come,” said Mason. “It’s just amazing what those on board did.”
On the three-hour trip to the memorial, buddies Jacob Sudbrink and Mitchell Pallotta, both seventh-graders, talked about what they were feeling after watching a video that was shown on the bus on the way to the site.