ShareThis Page

Those paying tribute shape look of Flight 93 memorial

| Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, 6:14 p.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Barbara Black of the National Park Service, who curates the collection of tributes left at the Flight 93 Memorial, addresses the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset on Saturday.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
A brick, said to be taken from a seized compound in Kandahar, was left by a member of the U.S. Special Forces at a temporary memorial for the 9/11 victims of Flight 93, which crashed into a Somerset County field.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
A message left on a quilt at the Flight 93 Memorial is signed by Stephen Ruda, captain of the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

Barbara Black unfurled the tissue paper and held up the brick.

Black, the curator of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, then told the remarkable story behind the brick.

In 2008, it was left on the site in Somerset County where Flight 93 crashed during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was one of thousands of tributes to the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 who died while trying to gain control of the plane.

The brick came from the compound of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar in Kandahar, Afghanistan, according to a note left with it. U.S. Special Forces seized the compound on Oct. 20, 2001, Black said, reading the note Saturday in Somerset during a meeting of the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial.

The brick will be part of a wall in the visitors center to open in late 2015 at the memorial near Shanksville.

“I've probably related that 100 times,” Black told the group Saturday. “Every time I read it, I still get chills.”

Black described for the group how the visitors center will incorporate items left at the crash site in a spontaneous outpouring of grief.

Other items left behind at a temporary memorial — which no longer exists — will become part of the 10-by-20 foot wall, one of five that will tell the story of Flight 93 and the 40 heroes who prevented terrorists aboard from claiming another target.

Flowers, dog tags, military medals will be part of the exhibits.

Bigger mementos, such as quilts, will be rotated with other items as part of the display.

Some of the items were left within minutes of the plane plummeting to the ground on Sept. 11, 2001, Black said.

“As close as they got, that's where they left tributes,” Black said.

“The county felt these items were important and needed to be saved,” Black said.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.