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Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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On eve of 9/11, lanterns are lit in tribute to Flight 93

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 11, 2016 3:10 AM
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As the sun set, visitors crowded around the Wall of Names to read victims' names and pay tribute. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)

 

 

(Shanksville) -- For 15 years, people have trekked to a remote field near Shanksville, in Somerset County.

They travel to pay their respects to the spot where, on September 11th 2001, United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after its passengers and crew wrested control from the plane's hijackers.

As the sun sets the evening before September 11th, it has become a tradition at the Flight 93 National Memorial to hold a candle-lighting ceremony.

The park calls it Lumineria.

A crowd gathers quietly to watch 40 lanterns be placed along the park's Wall of Names--a tribute to the 40 passengers and crew who saved the plane from crashing into its intended target, the US Capitol.

Lloyd Glick lost his 33-year-old son Jeremy that day.

He visits often from New Jersey, but tends to prefer coming when there aren't so many people.

This year though, he carried a lantern for his son.

"It's always kind of an emotional, wracking experience," he said. "But on the other hand, you know, this is a place that--it gives a reasonable feeling of peace."

This year was the first visit for Bill Cleveland, a retired Capitol police officer who was at work on 9/11.

Now a substitute teacher, he said he's been working up to this for 15 years, and often tells his students this place is hallowed ground.

"I'm just coming to pay homage," he said. "And like I tell young people, I'm going to be in Shanksville because I'm going to say thank you to those who gave me my life."

Cleveland, Glick, and many others will return early Sunday morning for a larger ceremony, with a reading of those 40 passengers and crew members' names.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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