Family members of Flight 93 jet's crew, passengers assemble
On the eve of the closing of the United Airlines Flight 93 temporary memorial, family members of the 40 passengers and crew who died aboard the hijacked airliner said the planned dedication of a permanent memorial on Saturday is bittersweet.
"I have mixed emotions. I wanted to see the temporary memorial stay in the design of the park and memorial," said Kenny Nacke, who lost his brother Louis J. "Joey" Nacke II in the Sept. 11, 2001, crash near Shanksville in Somerset County. The site of the new memorial is where authorities brought families of the victims, he said.
"My mom and dad always said this is the final resting spot of my brother. This is where his soul is," he said. "When you are down there (near the crash site), it's like you are among them."
Those aboard Flight 93 attempted to wrest control of the plane from hijackers who intended to crash it in the nation's capital.
"I think that's what Flight 93 is all about. It shows how 40 individuals in a short period of time can make a huge difference, and shows you what our society is supposed to be based upon. Could you have done what they did• Would you have done what they did• I think you will walk away with the feeling, 'Yes, I would have,'" Nacke said.
Gordon Felt, whose brother Edward was a passenger on the doomed flight, became president of the Families of Flight 93. Felt recalls how the site became a spontaneous memorial as visitors left license plates, stuffed animals, photographs and letters thanking the crew and passengers for their actions.
"It's incredible how people were inspired by their story and by the site. But we are at a new phase now. ... This is much more fitting, to not only the individuals but their collective actions. It's grand in scope. It's peaceful," he said.
"Future generations will be able to come here and learn about that day. That is the story that needs to be kept alive."
Organizers spent yesterday preparing the Stonycreek Township site for the dedication on Saturday of the Flight 93 National Memorial and the 10th commemorative service set for Sunday.
They expect 7,000 visitors and 500 journalists, said Keith Newlin, superintendent of the National Parks of Western Pennsylvania.
Among them will be people from at least 37 of the families, Felt said. "As you can imagine, every year on this weekend, it reopens a wound," he said.
Residents, he said, have given the families unwavering support.
"You won't find a truer, more honorable group of people than here," Felt said.
Sept. 11 observances
Bluff: 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday, Duquesne University Chapel, Bluff Street and McAnulty Drive. Sept. 11 10th Anniversary Mass. Chapel candle will burn for 11 days as part of the "11 Days of Peace" program. 412-396-6051.
Coraopolis: 8:15 a.m. today , Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, 1504 Woodcrest Ave. Sept. 11 ceremony will feature graduates, members of the military and local Scout groups. 412-424-4610; www.olsh.org .
-- 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Park Fire Station, 20727 Route 19. The Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company will break ground for a permanent memorial honoring the first responders who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. 724-776-1196.
-- 10 a.m. Saturday, Let's Roll Flight 93 Memorial Ride, Quaker Steak & Lube, 1298 Freedom Road, ceremony followed by 11:30 a.m. departure for riders. Open to the public. SMC Business Councils, Gretchen Stokes, 412-342-1609, Gretchen@smc.org .
-- Allegheny County Courthouse: 1 p.m. Sunday, 436 Grant St. A "National Moment of Remembrance" will take place with the ringing of the courthouse bells and sounding of the Allegheny County Police and emergency service vehicles' sirens. The public is asked to cease all activities at that time. www.alleghenycounty.us.
-- Point Park University, Wood Street. Throughout the week, "memorial stations" will be set up throughout the campus for students and the public to share Sept. 11 stories. Sept. 11 remembrance pins also will be sold to benefit the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville. 412-480-3640; www.pointpark.edu.
9-10 a.m. today, Thayer Hall, JVH Auditorium, 270 Third Ave. Multimedia presentation, faculty panel discussion, question-and-answer session.
10 a.m.-noon today, Lawrence Hall, third floor ballroom, 212 Wood St. Faculty panel discussion, question-and-answer session.
9 p.m. Sunday, Alumni Park, Third and Wood streets. Candlelight vigil.
-- St. Mary of Mercy Church: Noon Sunday, 202 Stanwix St. Bishop David A. Zubik will lead the Mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. 412-456-3131.
-- Trinity Cathedral: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, 328 Sixth Ave. Eucharist will feature music and prayers from liturgies held in New York and Washington, D.C. Bells will toll prior to the service. Visitors can pick up memorial prayer cards listing the name, age, city and employer of a person killed on Sept. 11. 412-232-6404.
East Pittsburgh: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Olympia Hall, 1575 Electric Ave. U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, will be the guest speaker. Memorial service, plaque presentation to area fire departments in remembrance of 343 firefighters who died Sept. 11, 2001. 412-824-8800.
Ligonier: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, St. Michael's of the Valley Episcopal Church, 2533 Route 381. The church's steeple bell will toll 40 times -- one for each passenger and crew member aboard United Airlines Flight 93. 724-238-9411.
Lower Burrell: 9 a.m. Sunday, Lower Burrell American Legion, 206 Wildlife Lodge Road. The Robert L. Davies American Legion Post 868 will conduct a memorial service. Guest speaker will be Rep. Eli Evankovich, R-Murrysville. Open to the public. 724-337-0464.
McKeesport: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Greenock United Methodist Church, church flagpole, 1213 Greenock Road. "Blessed is the Nation: One Hope for America" concert. Will feature uniformed members of the armed forces, the Elizabeth Township Police Department and the Greenock Volunteer Fire Department. 412-751-7726.
Moon: 10 a.m. Sunday, Moon Township Memorial Garden, 1000 Beaver Grade Road. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center will be dedicated as the garden's new centerpiece, alongside memorials honoring Moon's military personnel and public safety professionals. Commemorative engraved bricks are available for $65; additional bricks are $50. Business bricks are available for $200. 412-262-1700, 412-262-5004 or www.moontwp.com .
Mt. Lebanon: 1:50 p.m. today , Seton-La Salle Catholic High School, 1000 McNeilly Road. Local firefighters, police officers and paramedics. Candlelight ceremony. 412-561-3583, ext. 116.
New Castle: 10 a.m. Sunday, The Ranch, 4628 Ellwood Road. 3rd Annual Cycles for Soldiers: Ride for Freedom. Raffles, karaoke, ticket auction, door prizes, food, entertainment. Will raise funds for hospitalized soldiers and their families. Cost: $15 per bike, $5 per guest. 724-378-7460.
North Shore: 1:35 p.m. Sunday, PNC Park, 115 Federal St. All current first responders are eligible for two complimentary tickets, in honor of Sept. 11, to the Pirates vs. Marlins game. Also will feature the United States Army Field Band Choir and city police officers and firemen holding a large American flag in the outfield. 412-323-5000; www.pirates.com/firstresponders.
North Side: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Calvary United Methodist Church, Tiffany window sanctuary, 971 Beech Ave. "Poetry of Peace" will be a multicultural and interfaith concert of readings and music. 412-512-0589.
-- Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum: 11 a.m. Sunday, 4141 Fifth Ave. Prayer service, color guard, patriotic songs, hymns, flag ceremony for fallen soldiers, performance by the Soldiers & Sailors United States Colored Troops Youth Re-enactment Drum Corps. 412-621-4253, ext. 206.
-- Rodef Shalom Congregation: 4 p.m. Sunday, 4905 Fifth Ave. Interfaith service, titled, "Memory and Hope," to celebrate the bonds among local Christian, Islamic and Jewish faith communities. 412-621-6566; www.episcopalpgh.org .
â€¢ Carlow University: 7 p.m. Sunday, hillside between Grace Library and Dougherty Hall, 3333 Fifth Ave. Candlelight prayer vigil and remembrance service. Flags will be sold to benefit the Sept. 11 Memorial Fund. 412-578-2095.
-- National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb: 9 a.m., Sunday. Bigelow Boulevard between Fifth and Forbes avenues will be closed from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to accommodate fire vehicles parked in the street.
Pine: 11 a.m. Sunday, Cross Roads Presbyterian Church, 3281 Wexford Road. Artist Rick Steinhauser's piece, "Stairway to Dedication," will be presented at the church to honor those who put their lives on the line daily. Open to the public. 724-935-3636.
Shadyside: 3 p.m. Sunday, Chatham University, Campbell Memorial Chapel, Woodland Road. Free concert to commemorate Sept. 11. 412-365-1679.
Somerset: 9 a.m. Sunday, St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church, 2081 Husband Road. Service will include reciting of the names of passengers killed aboard United Airlines Flight 93. www.stfrancisofsomerset.org .
-- Allegheny County Park: 5 p.m. Sunday, Sunny Slope, Brownsville Road. Service will recognize area first responders, military personnel and veterans. Will feature patriotic songs, the distribution of American flags, collection of old flags by scout groups, local performers and a bagpipe player. 412-831-7000.
-- Corrigan Drive: 6 p.m. Sunday. Travis Manion Foundation's 9/11 Heroes Run. Will feature more than 250 people running a 5K to honor all military, police, firefighters and first responders who have died since Sept. 11, 2001. Proceeds will benefit the families of the fallen heroes. 313-573-6434.
South Side: 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 E. Carson St. Opening reception for "Reflections on Ten Years of War Since 9/11" exhibit, which will run Sept. 13-Dec. 10. Will feature the work of 11 documentary photographers and photojournalists. 412-431-1810; www.silvereye.org .
Squirrel Hill: Noon-1 p.m. today, Carnegie Mellon University, Roberts Engineering Hall, The Singleton Room, Frew Street. Media panel will discuss the events of Sept. 11. Students also will conduct a "Letters From Home" campaign to collect thank you notes and condolences for the families of those who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93. Free to the public; lunch provided. Reservations are required. 412-268-5776 or 412-268-6094.
Strip District: 9 a.m. Saturday , Sen. John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St. Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato will participate in the unfurling of a 60-foot-by-30-foot American flag to commemorate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and mark the opening of the exhibition, "Stars & Stripes: An American Story." All county police, fire and EMS professionals can view the exhibit for free. Open to the public. 412-454-6000.
Trafford: 6 p.m. Sunday, Christian Life Church, 900 Seventh St. Sept. 11 community memorial service to honor fallen and support military and first responders. 412-856-4420.
Turtle Creek: 7:30 p.m.-midnight Sunday, McMasters Methodist Church, 200 Church St. There will be luminaries burning in the parking lot as a tribute to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Donations of $3 will be collected to benefit Tuesday's Children's first responders family support program. Checks can be made out to McMasters UMC and mailed to: 200 Church St., Turtle Creek PA, 15145. 412-823-1988.
Washington: 9 a.m. Sunday, Washington & Jefferson College, 60 S. Lincoln St. The main lawn will be adorned with American flags for each person killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. A candlelight vigil will take place at 9 p.m. 888-926-3529; www.washjeff.edu .
Wilkinsburg: 10 a.m. today , Wilkinsburg Borough Building, 605 Ross Ave. Guest speakers, bagpipe and bugle playing, color guard, flag donation. Rain location is the council chambers on the second floor of the borough building. 412-244-4377.
Greensburg churches are expected to participate in a citywide ringing of bells at 1 p.m. Sunday, when city fire stations will sound their sirens for a full minute. City officials have asked business owners to lower their flags to half-staff.
Mayor Karl Eisaman this week signed a proclamation calling on "all citizens of Greensburg" and "the citizens of other communities" to pause at 1 p.m. Sunday in remembrance of the dead.
The Seton Hill University community will reflect on the events of 9/11 today from 2 to 4 p.m. in Cecilian Hall. There will be a candle lighting and prayer, "musical meditations," and firsthand accounts of New York City on Sept. 11, 2011, by Jack Ciak, assistant professor of communication, and Daniel Bernstein, associate professor of hospitality and tourism. Archival materials on Seton Hill's 9/11 experience will be on display.
St. Vincent College students, sponsored by the Student Government Association, will plant 3,000 American flags in the grass bordering the entrance to the Sis and Dupre Science Pavilion to commemorate the 9/11 victims Friday at 8 p.m. The flags will remain in place through next week.
At 9:30 p.m. Sunday, the campus ministry director, the Rev. Killian Loch, will celebrate an outdoor memorial Mass at Chuck Noll Field. Afterward, a candlelight procession will proceed to the stadium's American flag.
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, the Westmoreland Choral Society and the Greensburg Ministerial Association will host a 9/11 vigil at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the church. Association members will give readings on the themes of hope, peace, eternal memories and the kingdom of God. The Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra will accompany several of the selections as well as songs sung by the audience, including "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
Works of art by area children on the theme of peace will be displayed at the church at 1011 Mt. Pleasant Road, just off the Mt. Pleasant exit of Route 30.
North Union Township
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus will host a 9/11 remembrance on the lawn in front of the Williams Building from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Laurel Highlands and Albert Gallatin Junior ROTC cadets will perform the national anthem and participate in the changing of the flag ceremony. Military veteran and student Therman King will speak. Members of the Amvets and Vietnam Veterans Inc. will conduct a fallen soldier ceremony.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania will hold an anniversary at 8:30 a.m. Sunday under a tent in the Oak Grove between Sutton Hall and Stapleton Library to honor the three alumni lost in the World Trade Center -- William Moskal, a 1979 graduate; Donald Jones, a 1980 graduate; and William Sugra, a 1993 graduate. The memorial includes a 13-foot remnant from the World Trade Center, on long-term loan from the Kovalchick family of Indiana.
Through September, the IUP Library will exhibit memorabilia from alumni who participated in the clean-up of the World Trade Center site.
Following the ceremony at the Fight 93 National Memorial on Sunday, the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel will hold an Interfaith Service of Memory and Hope at 2:45 p.m. The chapel is located a few miles from the crash site.
The Christian Motorcyclists' Association will hold a prayer service at 9 a.m., followed at 10:04 a.m. by a North Star Kids Thunder Bell ceremony. At 10:30, a Pontifical Mass in Memorium for the passengers and crew of Flight 93 will be held. At noon, the North Star Kids will offer a tribute concert to the fallen flight attendants.
The Men's Chorus of the Potomac will perform at 2 p.m., followed by an interfaith service. At 3:30 p.m., the Willing Vessels, The Somerset Anglican Community Band, will perform. The ceremonies will conclude at 4 p.m. with a "solemn closing observance."
At 3 p.m. Saturday, a Pontifical High Mass under the direction of Archbishop Ramzi Musallam, Catholic Church of the East, will be held at the chapel.
On Monday, the staff at Monongahela Valley Hospital will give out lapel pins with the message "9-11 Never Forget" to EMS personnel. Police, firefighters and medics who serve the emergency department, as well as hospital employees who are volunteer firefighters, will be honored. The emergency department staff will deliver appreciation lunches to Carroll Township fire stations.Additional Information:
On the agenda
-- 12:30 p.m. -- memorial dedication
-- 7:30 p.m. -- lighting of luminarias
-- 9:30 a.m. -- commemorative service
Events open to the public. Shuttle service to the site, off U.S. 30 entrance, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Required security scans for everyone. Umbrellas, chairs (not in a bag), small snacks and water bottles (no coolers) are permitted. Small tributes permitted along Memorial Wall only.