A long-awaited beach trip over Labor Day week was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian, but that doesn’t mean I sat at home. With September 11 approaching, it seemed like a good time to take a drive and visit the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa.

jessica james flight 93 memorialThe trip is only about two-and-a-half hours from Gettysburg — and it’s a beautiful drive over a number of mountain ranges.

Visiting the memorial site and visitor center is a humbling, poignant, sad, emotional experience. The sky was clear and blue on the day I visited —  just like it was on September 11, 2001. It’s hard to believe 18 years has passed since that tragic day in history, and it’s impossible to imagine what would have happened if not for the heroic actions of the 40 passengers and crew aboard Flight 93.

The airliner went down only 20 minutes from its intended target in Washington, D.C., killing all of those on board, but saving countless lives.

Pictured above is the ninety-three-foot tall Tower of Voices, that will hold 40 wood chimes, representing the 40 passengers and crew members. The intent is to create a set of tones (voices) that can connote the serenity and nobility of the site. It’s hard to believe that it is not yet finished after all this time.

jessica james flight 93 memorialBecause the area where the plane went down is so remote, the scenery makes the trip a beautiful drive. This is just one of the many overlooks and stunning views we passed during our trip.

The spectacular vistas on the way home were welcome after the sobering experience of seeing the history, timeline, and artifacts from that fateful day in our history. Sometimes we forget to appreciate what we have here!

jessica james bisonWe came across this bison farm, so of course, I had to stop for some photos. They looked quite comfortable grazing on the rolling hills with lots of green grass.

I also had to hit the brakes for a few historical sites. This old log church from 1806 caught my eye on the way to Shanksville. A sign in the back said that the original settlers took their dogs to church in the winter to sit on their feet and keep their toes warm! Many of the tombstones in the cemetery dated back to the late 1700s and early 1800s.

jessica james old churchhI cannot imagine how pioneers traveled over those mountains! It was hard enough on the trucks trying to traverse them. How in the world did horses do it?

Even though I didn’t go on an out-of-town vacation, this week still flew by with home projects and short day trips. I can’t believe it’s almost over!

(I also took a vacation from my kitchen project, but will be finishing it up soon. Stay tuned!)


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