In July, thirty-six Tribute volunteers, staff members and family of volunteers traveled to Shanksville, PA to visit the Flight 93 Memorial site and the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department.
During the trip, the group received a guided tour from the National Park Service of the Flight 93 crash site and the Temporary Memorial and exchanged experiences with the Flight 93 Memorial Ambassadors.
Tribute volunteer Anthony Palmeri said,
“As I sat there looking at the crash site and listening to Donna explain the event of their 9/11, I realized, I was now the visitor. Hearing her gentle voice explain the events of that day brought me right back. As she read off the names of the crew and passengers of Flight 93, I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. I sensed the sorrow in her voice and the sadness in her heart. What I also felt was that very special connection that you and I share being part of 9/11 and the Tribute Center.”
At the Shanksville Firehouse, the Tribute volunteers were greeted by Chief Shaffer, a first responder on September 11, 2001. That evening, the group was treated to a home-cooked meal by the Flight 93 staff and Ambassadors. Donna Glessner, founder of the Flight 93 Memorial Ambassador Program, gave a special presentation about their program. At the offices of the Flight 93 National Memorial, the group learned about the future Flight 93 National Memorial from the National Park Service. They shared audio presentations of oral histories and a presentation of commemorative objects visitors leave at the temporary memorial site.
“Our role is to humanize the experience and allow the visitor to really feel connected.”
“I think this was an amazingly positive experience and is an important way to understand this tragedy, but also the courage, heroism & spirit that emerged from it.”
“The Tribute Center docents and Flight 93 Memorial Ambassadors speak out for those who lost their lives during the September 11th attacks. They tell the stories of what the people went through on Flight 93 and in the World Trade Center, respectively, and help visitors get a better understanding of these events.”
“We both serve the community and people from all around the world to communicate the human story.”
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