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National Flight 93 Memorial plans 'abbreviated' ceremony on Sept. 11 due to COVID-19

"While this year will certainly be different...we remain committed to honoring the sacrifice of the 40 heroes," Memorial superintendent Stephen Clark says.
Credit: National Flight 93 Memorial Park

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — The Flight 93 National Memorial will honor the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 who died on September 11, 2001 this year, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the ceremony will be abbreviated to protect the safety of visitors and staff, officials said Friday.

The shortened ceremony will adhere to state and federal guidelines, Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent Stephen M. Clark said.

“By modifying the observance, we are able to honor the passengers and crew members, but also make the health and safety of visitors, staff and volunteers a priority,” said Clark. “While this year will certainly be different than in previous years, we remain committed to honoring the sacrifice of the forty heroes.” 

The NPS has made efforts to abbreviate the ninety-minute ceremony to a 20-minute “Moment of Remembrance," which is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, September 11 at the Memorial Plaza.  

In the absence of a keynote speaker and musical talent, each name of the passengers and crew members will be read aloud with the ringing of the Bells of Remembrance, organizers say. This moment will observe the exact time Flight 93 crashed at 10:03 a.m. 

The observance will be virtually streamed via EarthCam

Visitors who wish to attend the name reading should expect limited parking. The NPS will not provide shuttle transportation, and some parking lots may require walking distances of over one mile to the Memorial Plaza. 

The Visitor Center will open an hour early at 8:00 a.m. and remain open until 7:00 p.m. to provide increased access on September 11. Visitors arriving during peak hours to the Visitor Center may experience delayed entry due to the possibility of overcrowding and to ensure social distancing practices are optimal. 

The memorial will be open to the public, and visitors are encouraged to adhere to state and federal Coronavirus guidelines. To avoid large crowds, visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the programs being virtually streamed. 

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/flni/planyourvisit/sept11observance