Often not seen in pictures are stories of residents who manned the crash site in two-hour volunteer shifts to ensure it was respected and not vandalized. Using notebooks to keep track of the facts, they relayed to tourists and mourners alike how the hole smoldered and the crash left little wreckage above ground except scattered papers and pieces of engine and fabric.
“We were just neighbors and friends,” said long-time volunteer Chuck Wagner, 67, of Stonycreek Township.
They helped bring to fruition the Flight 93 National Memorial, which grew from barrels and a chain link fence holding small mementos into a stunning feat of architecture that embraces the beauty of nature and the resolve of mankind.
Former Gov. Tom Ridge remains in awe of the community’s effort in embracing its part of history.