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Hilltop with a History

Image: Baekel

In 2001, numerous pieces of mining equipment littered the Diamond T site in Stonycreek Township where bituminous coal had been mined for more than thirty years. Two huge “draglines,” the machines which once removed the rocky soil and overburden to reveal the coal seams below, remained on the hilltop where they were last used in 1995. Since the mining company had no immediate use for the draglines, there were no plans to remove them. The aging equipment, visible for miles, was a landmark on the vast 1,000-acre grassland dotted with treatment ponds and small tree seedlings.

On September 11, 2001, these fields became linked to a watershed moment in American history. When hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed at this site, these common fields became a field of honor forever.

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