The 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 thwarted the attack on the US Capitol building when it was 20 minutes flight time from Washington by rushing the cockpit and attempting to overpower the hijackers. The plane crashed in a field outside of Shanksville, PA.
In addition to the memorial being built in New York and the 1,776 ft Freedom Tower being built at the former World Trade Center site, the Flight 93 crash site is now home to a national memorial being built there.
As a matter of fact, just as I did back on that September 11 day, I woke up early this morning.
I was watching Good Morning America on that fateful day when I saw the first reports that of a fire at the World Trad Center building. I saw the second hijacked plane crash into the other tower on live television. I spent the next few hours trying to call and verify that all the cis and trans people I knew in the New York area were okay.
I was also nervous in those early confusing hours that one of the hijacked planes was a Continental one. When I discovered later that the hijacked planes were American and United ones, my thoughts turned to those personnel, the passengers on board those planes and especailly the gate agents who worked those respective flights.
Then the news came about the Pentagon being attacked. The unprecedented shutdown of US airspace at 9:45 AM EDT that led to Operation Yellow Ribbon in Canada.
And I watched on live TV as those majestic World Trade Center towers that I didn't get to visit during my New York vacation the year before collapsed minutes apart.
The attacks took us on a path that led us to the conflict in Afghanistan, a war foolishly jumped off by the GW Bush administration in Iraq two years later, the loss of over 5000 soldiers and wounding of countless others, the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008 and the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the al-Qaeda attacks via a Seal Team 6 operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
But for those of us who remember the events of that day, the memories still haven't faded yet.