A day of remembrance at Flight 93 Memorial

May 30, 2011 7:49:02 PM PDT
The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 is fast approaching, and on this Memorial Day, relatives of passengers who died aboard Flight 93 gathered to remember them in Union City.

Former Marine Michael Emerson decided on Sept. 11, 2001 the Flight 93 memorial should be built in the Bay Area.

"Many of them were from this area, lived in this area, grew up in this area, worked in this area, so I think it's very appropriate that we built something here," Emerson said.

He got suppliers to donate the red granite stones, unions to provide labor and individuals to make contributions. In five years, his dream became a sanctuary for people like Carole O'Hare of Danville, whose 79-year-old mother Hilda Marcin perished on Flight 93.

"It's a place where we can come, just reflect on the day and talk to other people who might be visiting here; it's very meaningful to us," O'Hare said.

Every Memorial Day, the families and the public gather to remember the passengers who rebelled against four terrorists on board and crashed in a field.

"It's hard to believe it's been 10 years, it still hits you like it was yesterday the fact that he's not around, you know," Capt. Jason Dahl's sister Carol Heiderich said.

Another Flight 93 memorial is under construction now in that field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It will be formally dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America. However, only one-third of that project will be completed by that time.

Because of what he accomplished in the Bay Area, Emerson has been tapped to help with donations for the Shanksville memorial.

"He not only had the idea, but he kept the pressure on, he kept pushing for it and he saw it through to its fruition," Union City Mayor Mark Green said.

Forty passengers and crew members died aboard Flight 93. Each one's name, age and hometown are memorialized.

'Hope, remembrance, honor, it's all about duty, what these people did; they're the first combatants in our current war on terrorism and I think they did really well," Emerson said.


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