Plan Your Visit
Flight 93 National Memorial is a place to learn about the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 whose actions thwarted four hijackers' plans to fly their plane to a target in Washington, DC during the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. At Flight 93 National Memorial you can walk beside their final resting place, learn their stories, and honor their extraordinary courage in preventing an attack on our Nation’s Capital.
Flight 93 National Memorial is a self-guided site and is open from sunrise to sunset. Visitors are encouraged to budget up to three hours for a full site visit. There is no admission fee to enter Flight 93 National Memorial or the Visitor Center.
Visitors can learn about the Flight 93 story in key locations throughout the memorial, including:
The Visitor Center features a permanent exhibition that focuses on the Flight 93 story within the context of the larger terrorist attack. Visitors are welcome during regular hours to a self-guided experience around artifacts, multi-media, and interactive exhibits that begin early on the morning of September 11, 2001. The exhibits recount the story of the passengers and crew members and describes the response and investigation following the crash. Please plan between 45 minutes to one hour to explore the exhibit space. The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.
Learn about the morning of September 11, 2001, the crime scene investigation, and the local, state and federal response to the 9/11 attacks when Flight 93 crashed. Listen to phone messages left from the plane and create a connection to the passengers and crew members from their biographies.
The Learning Center is a multi-functional classroom that offers educational programming throughout the year. It is not open daily to the public. Public restrooms are available outside of the Learning Center or at the Memorial Plaza. To learn about the Friends education resources and activities and transportation scholarships click here.
MEMORIAL PLAZA AND WALL OF NAMES
Visitors can explore the memorial through outdoor exhibits, a cell phone tour, and interpretive programming offered by Park Rangers and volunteers at the Memorial Plaza from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Forecourt and Visitor Shelter
A gateway to the Memorial Plaza, the forecourt and visitor shelter mark the approach toward the crash site and landscape that serves as the final resting place for the passengers and crew. The forecourt hosts six outdoor signs that share the September 11, 2001 story of Flight 93. The shelter provides a location for visitors to leave messages, ask park rangers or volunteers questions, and temporarily escape inclement weather.
Flagpole and Benches
Located beside the Memorial Plaza Visitor Shelter, the flagpole and benches are a meeting point for scheduled ranger programs (unless otherwise noted). Programs begin Memorial Day weekend and are offered daily through Labor Day weekend. For the latest schedule, check the memorial calendar before your visit. This area is also designated for wreath laying ceremonies for visitors who have a permit.
The Memorial Plaza extends one-quarter-mile alongside the area where Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001. Ten years later, after the dedication of the permanent memorial in September 2011, this walkway replaced a security fence that protected the crash site, debris field, and ultimately, the final resting place of the 40 passengers and crew. Today, the Memorial Plaza allows visitors a walk beside this hallowed landscape.
Hemlock Grove and Impact Site
A walk along the Memorial Plaza provides visitors the opportunity to view the impact site and a grove of eastern hemlock trees that were damaged as a result of the Flight 93 crash. A visible gap in the tree line serves as a lasting "scar" from where over 80 damaged trees were removed.
Near the base of the hemlock grove sits a native 17.5-ton sandstone boulder, placed in 2011, to indicate the edge of the impact site. During the 2001 crime scene investigation, the FBI methodically excavated the impact site over thirteen days. The crater was later backfilled in October 2001 at the direction of the local coroner. Today the impact site and grove are closed to the public. Families of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 have access to visit this final resting place.
Wall of Names
Located underneath the flight path and final approach of Flight 93, the Wall of Names is constructed from white marble. Forty individually selected and polished marble stones are inscribed with each of the passenger and crew member names. Black granite denotes the flight path. From the Ceremonial Gate, constructed of hemlock wood, visitors can look down the flight path to the last piece of granite etched with the time of the crash and the impact site marked by a distant sandstone boulder.
TOWER OF VOICES
The Tower of Voices serves as both a visual and audible reminder of the heroism of the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93.
The tower is conceived as a monumental, ninety-three-feet-tall musical instrument holding 40 wind chimes, representing the 40 passengers and crew members. It is intended to be a landmark feature near the memorial entrance, visible from US Route 30/Lincoln Highway. The Tower of Voices provides a living memorial in sound to remember the 40 individuals through their ongoing voices.
Funding for the design and construction of the project was provided through private donations to the National Park Foundation and the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial.
Uniqueness of Design
There are no other chime structures like this in the world. The shape and orientation of the tower are designed to optimize air flow through the tower walls to reach the interior chime chamber. The chime system is designed using music theory to identify a mathematically developed range of frequencies needed to produce a distinct musical note associated with each chime. The applied music theory allows the sound produced by individual chimes to be musically compatible with the sound created by the other chimes in the tower. The intent is to create a set of 40 tones (voices) that can connote through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site.
The tower is approximately ninety-three-feet-tall from the base to the top with some height variations. The Tower cross section is a “C” shape with a fifteen foot outside diameter and eleven foot inside diameter. The “C” shape allows sound to reflect outwardly from the open side in a fan-shaped pattern. The chimes are halted a minimum of twenty feet above the main plaza and are suspended from the interior walls of the tower up to the top.
The tower walls are constructed of precast concrete segments linked by connectors. The chimes are made of polished aluminum tubes ranging eight to sixteen inches in diameter and approximately five to ten feet in length. The size of each chime is dependent on the musical note and associated frequency that it is intended to produce. Chimes of this size and magnitude do not currently exist in the world. The chimes are wind activated and have internal strikers attached to sails projecting from the bottom of each chime.
The tower is located on an oval concrete plaza that is built on top of an earth mound to create an area more prominent on the landscape. The plaza includes two curved concrete benches facing the opening of the tower.
The tower is surrounded by concentric rings of white pines and deciduous plantings. The concentric plantings may be interpreted as resonating “sound waves” from the tower, alluding to the auditory qualities of the chimes housed within. A direct paved path leads to the tower from the parking lot. A longer, meandering crushed stone path winds through the trees and allows visitors an alternative approach to the tower. All other landscaped areas of the project are planted with a native wildflower seed mix similar to other landscaped areas of the park.
Tower of Voices Live Webca
The Allée walking trail takes guests from the Visitor Center, through 40 Memorial Groves, over a Wetlands Bridge, and down to the Memorial Plaza and Wall of Names totaling approximately 1.2 miles. A shorter Western Overlook Trail takes guests from the Learning Center to the Wall of Names totaling approximately .7 miles. Visitors may access the half-mile Trail of Remembrance, which leads to one of the temporary memorial sites, from the Allée or the Memorial Plaza parking lot.
Source: National Park Service