Locals remember Flight 93 passengers at memorial

September 11, 2011 12:06:09 PM PDT
More than 4,000 people attended a dedication ceremony on Saturday in Shanksville, Pennsylvania for the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93.

The passengers were killed then plane crashed into a field on Sept. 11, 2001. As the plane was headed to San Francisco that morning, a lot of Bay Area residents are listed on the memorial that stands today.

It's a simple memorial, which is what the family members wanted. It preserves the crash site and honors each passenger and crew that was aboard Flight 93.

The reading of names has become tradition at Sept. 11 commemorations, but now the names of the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 have a permanent place near the spot where their plane crashed to the ground.

The memorial was unveiled to the public one day before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I think of my mom, and I think that she would be horrified her name was so public," Danville resident Carole O'Hare said. "She was a very private person that way."

O'Hare was supposed to pick her mother up from San Francisco International Airport the morning of Sept. 11. Her mother, Hilda Marcin, was flying out to live with her. Now, her name and 39 others stand as a beacon for future generations.

"I still get said about it, there's no question," O'Hare said. "But I'm also happy they're going to be remembered and honored, and that will be there forever."

Vice President Joe Biden and Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton reminded the thousands of people who converged on the Pennsylvania meadow that the people of Flight 93 went down fighting. Passengers tried to regain control of the plane and, by doing so, changed the course of history.

The hijackers were on course for Washington, D.C., most likely on their way to the Capitol building.

"Many passengers called their loved once to say goodbye, then hung up to perform their final act," Bush said. "One said, I have to break into the cockpit. I have to go, I love you. Another said, it's up to us, I think we can do it."

"They saved the Capitol from attack," Clinton said. "They saved God knows how many lives. They saved the terrorists of claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of American government."

Alice Hoagland's son, Mark Bingham, was one of the heroes of Flight 93. Hoagland says 10 years hasn't changed much.

"The wound is still raw for me," Hoagland said. "Grief is something that you don't really get over. I don't want closure -- it's an empty concept for me. I want my son back, and I'm never going to get him."


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