United 93 families dedicate Sept. 11 memorial
Vice President Joe Biden joins Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush in Pennsylvania to honor the passengers
and crew who fought back that day.
Family and friends gather at the boulder that marks the site of the crash of Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, in Shanksville, Pa. (Gene J. Puskar, Associated
Press / September 11, 2011)
Reporting from Shanksville, Pa.—
If the three attacks of Sept. 11 have each taken on symbolism in the last decade, Flight 93 has come to be thought of as
Middle America's tragedy — at least by those closest to it. Its site is pastoral and quiet, miles from hubs of power.
Its story prompts a simple question: What would I have done?
In a meadow blanketed with wildflowers and goldenrod, federal officials, families of the victims, and others gathered
Saturday to ponder that question and dedicate a memorial to the crew and passengers who responded so bravely.
"Courage lies in every heart, and one day it will be summoned," Vice President
told the crowd under the first rays
of sunshine in days. "On Sept. 11, 2001, at 9:57 a.m., it was summoned and 40 incredible men and women answered the call.
They gave their lives and, in doing so, gave this country a new life."
Biden was joined by Presidents
George W. Bush
, as well as House Speaker
John A. Boehner
other lawmakers. His remarks capped a ceremony that showed flickers of the bipartisan call for patriotism common in the
days after the terrorist attacks, but also, particularly in Bush's remarks, acknowledged how that spirit has been severely
"We must never allow our differences to harden into divisions," Bush said solemnly, seeming to defend his response to the