Archive for August, 2021

Flight 93 Memorial

Coming home from our trip to Detroit, we decided to stop at Shanksville, PA at the site of the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001. After 46 minutes of flying over eastern Ohio on that fateful day, hijackers in first class attacked at 9:28 a.m., incapacitating the captain and first officer. They turned the plane southeast, heading for Washington, DC. most likely the US capital. Thirteen of the passengers placed thirty-seven calls to family, friends and authorities and began to piece together the intent and seriousness of the situation. Their plane was part of a planned attack on America. They formed a plan to rush the hijackers, knowing that it would cost them their lives. The struggle lasted six minutes.

At 10 a.m. the plane was spotted flying low and erratic and at 10:03 it crashed, upside-down at 563 miles per hour into this Somerset County farm field. All thirty-three passengers, one unborn baby, seven crew members and four hijackers were instantly killed.

The plane came over the hill above the trees and went down the hill to where it crashed. The wall at the bottom of the hill marks the path and the large boulder sitting along in the field marks the spot of impact.

The Tower of Voices

Just after you turn off of the main road (Route 30-the same road that runs across the state into Lancaster), is the Tower of Voices. It is 93 feet tall in homage to the number of the flight. This is a musical instrument with forty chimes representing the voices of each of the forty passengers and crew members. Each chime has a different tone. It takes 12 mph wind to make the chimes ring and even though it was a very breezy day, only one on of the chimes occasionally chimed it’s sorrowful tone. A young fellow with a wind app on his phone said it was blowing at 7 mph. It was disappointing we didn’t get to hear it. The tour guide on site said she hears them about once a week. Even though it had an open design, the structure seemed to block the wind. There were quite a few visitors that day and it would have been so meaningful to have heard them ring. We were disappointed in the restrictive design and wondered why they chose one so limited.

View of the chimes.

The walls to the right and left of the gate represents the flight path. On the wall are the names of the victims. The gate faces the boulder sitting as a head stone on the crash site. The woods behind the boulder burned and was replanted with spruce. The families of the victims wanted a simple memorial. On that day, an ordinary, obscure farm field became a memorial attracting thousands and thousands of people and yet remains a simple, peaceful, burial site. Only family is allowed to walk to the boulder. No bodies were ever recovered.

if you turn and look back up the hill, there is a visitor center overlooking the site filled with the story and artifacts recovered from the site. There are bits and pieces of the plane and amazingly there are a few things that survived: several bent forks, the black box, and a bank statement of one of the hijackers were a few of the items. The black box was the only one recovered from the four planes involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon and this site. Pieces of the plane were scattered over the forty aces and woods. There were too many people and we were too short on time to see all we wanted at the center. The design of the center also reflects the path of the flight. This site is 18 minutes flying time from Washington, DC. The heroic action of unarmed passengers and crew thwarted and defeated the terrorists’ plan, saving many lives and kept our government intact.

The design and position of the building also reflect the path of the plane.
A walking path goes from the visitor center down to the wall and memorial. There is also a road that circled down on the left side.
The boulder, chosen from the land surrounding the site, became the marker for the site., Note the beauty of the wild flowers growing naturally.
It is wonderful to have a good zoom on my camera!
To the left and through the trees you can catch a glimpse of the farm buildings.
A memorial at the beginning of the walkway to the wall.

I quote from the a plaque in the visitor center…. “A common field one day. A field of honor forever”.

Rest in peace, America will not forget.

A Community Honors Its Own

Today something very emotional and special happened in Powhatan. A community, in droves, lined the main route through the county (Route 60) to welcome home one of their fallen, Caroline Schollaert, who was shot during an attempted car burglary at her home in Florida last week. Her dad’s facebook post reads in part, “…She was an active member of the United States Coast Guard. She served in the elite Hitron unit which conducts drug interdiction ops. A service is being held at her unit hangar Tuesday morning (August 10), then we will be escorted back to Powhatan, VA by an honor guard …….please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”

Picture of Caroline taken from Pat Schollaert’s fb page.

This post is not so much about Caroline as it is about the community that showed their love, support and care for the Schollaert family. I did not know her but her dad is a customer in our store. I didn’t realize this was happening until this afternoon and I decided I wanted to be a part of it. The family and body landed at the Chesterfield Airport and made their way up Rt. 288 to Route 60 and west to the Bennet-Barden funeral home directly across the road from our farm. We had a front row seat!

Community gathering and waiting.
Lining the road. From what I heard there were people lining the road from the county line up to our road. (8 miles)
Lining the road. Our fields in the background.
Hometown USA-the real America!
ABC News was there. He said to watch at 11 p.m.
This man had his drone ready to fly for aerial pictures as soon as the procession arrived.
Stopping traffic at the crossover for the motorcade.
Lead car. Here they come. Everyone watched in silence.
Respect, honor and patriotism.
And there they are…..
Lots and lots and lots of motorcycles. It was impressive and sets such a respectful atmosphere.
Sobering and sad. Coming home to be laid to rest. Gunned down in a senseless murder in the prime of her youth.
There had to be hundreds of cycles.
The parking lot at the funeral home.

I was impressed with the turn out of people showing their love and care for the Schollaert family. Some were friends and co-workers and some, like me, just wanted to be a part of the community support, honoring and welcoming home one of our own. Something special happens to a community when they come together in times like this.

Piercing High-Pitch Squeal

We have a piercing high-pitch squeal in our house and it is driving me to the crazy house!!! In fact I told Gene the other evening I was getting ready to run away from home!!! Over the weekend we final found the source-the toilet. If you don’t believe me, come hear mine!

It started a week or so ago. I kept hearing this very quiet but very high piercing squeal that you could hardly stand. At first Gene couldn’t hear it which told me what I already knew, he had to be hard of hearing! I would crawl in bed, and off the squeal would go. By the time I was in the living room it would stop. I checked everything I could think of; the computer backup, my blue-tooth, the super-sonic pest repellers I had just brought in from the garden, the door bell, and smoke detectors (they usually chirp). I would sit beside some of the items and wait to no avail. As soon as I was back in bed, off it would go.

The squeal started getting one degree louder, more frequent and lasting a little longer. That is when Gene started hearing it and found the source. The toilet; throne or lowly stool, depending on your view! Who knew a toilet could be so annoying? Closing the bathroom door, pulling the covers over my head and sticking my fingers in my ears did not help. Did you ever try sleeping buried under the covers with your fingers in your ears?

Toilets used to have a simple float system in the back and you could replace pieces. Now they are newfangled contraptions that you can’t fix. The water is not leaking but apparently something on the float has gotten a little worn and it is letting us know! Jingling the lever does not help and neither does flushing. If you tap the float it will stop the squeal until the next squeal.

There will be no peace in this house until one of us makes a trip to the hardware store. How fast can I go!