The Flight 93 Memorial Chapel is a place to reverently reflect on the courage and heroism of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
Located approximately 9 miles from the Flight 93 National Memorial (operated by the National Park Service), the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel is the privately-funded brainchild of one man – Reverend Alphonse Mascherino.
Using his own money, tenacity, and the help of many volunteers, Rev. Mascherino was able to convert an abandoned Lutheran church into a non denominational memorial chapel one year after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001.
And while the Flight 93 National Memorial now does and exceptional job of preserving the hallowed ground which is the actual crash site, it was not officially dedicated until a decade after the event.
During that first decade after the crash, the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel served (and still serves) as a place for family and friends of the passengers and crew to gather and honor those who died on 9/11.
As such, it houses an impressive display of donated memorabilia and tributes to the heroes of the Flight 93, and is a must-see when visiting the much-larger Flight 93 National Memorial nearby.
How to Find the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel
The Flight 93 Memorial Chapel is located at 1504 Stutzmantown Rd, Friedens, PA 15541.
It’s located 3 miles west of Shanksville, at the intersection of Coleman Station Road and Stutzmantown Road.
The Flight 93 Memorial Chapel is open 12-5 most days, is staffed entirely by volunteers, and operates on donations (no admission fees are charged – a donation box sits inside the front door).
Inside the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel
Immediately inside the front door of the chapel you’ll find the Meditation Room, which features biographies of all 40 crew and passengers aboard Flight 93, written by family members.
Countless mementos left by visitors decorate every nook and cranny of the chapel.
A beverage cart identical to the one used by the passengers and crew to fight back against the terrorists was donated by United Airlines.
Some of the earliest tributes to the heroes of Flight 93 were created by Shanksville locals, and are preserved at the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel as well.
Outside the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel
In front of the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel is the impressive “Maggie’s Tower” and the “Thunder Bell”.
Both were generous gifts to the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel.
The Thunder Bell weighs nearly half a ton and was cast in 1860.
Visitors are encouraged to ring the bell four times for the four planes hijacked on 9/11.
The Flight 93 Crew Monument
The 14-foot high, 16-ton Flight 93 Crew Monument sits in back of the chapel.
The names and pictures of each crew member are featured on the monument.
While 4 granite benches surrounding the monument are inscribed with the names of the passengers.
World Trade Center Remnant
Also in back of the chapel you’ll find a 3,000 lb. remnant of the World Trade Center.
This was donated and installed at the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel in 2006, at the same time as the Flight 93 Crew Monument.
Literally hundreds of thousands of visitors have stopped at the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel since it opened in 2002.
While it may be overshadowed by the much larger Flight 93 National Memorial, this early grass-roots effort to honor the bravery of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 is absolutely worth a visit.
When asked about why he was so driven to open this chapel, Reverend Mascherino was quoted as saying simply “”I wanted to honor faith”, and to that end the beauty and simplicity of the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel is an absolute success.
As mentioned earlier, the Flight 93 National Memorial encompasses the actual crash site and the National Park Service’s Visitor Center.
Officially dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the Flight 93 National Memorial features both indoor and outdoor exhibits and memorials.
The Tower of Voices is both an auditory and visual tribute to the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93, located near the entrance to the memorial.
The Wall of Names is composed of 40 white marble panels, each inscribed with the name of a passenger or crew member of Flight 93.
Patriot Park near Shanksville is the future home of a permanent memorial intended to honor all those who died in the line of duty while serving the United States military in the Global War on Terrorism.
Like the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel, Patriot Park is privately-funded, relying on donations rather than the financial backing of the United States government.
Patriot Park is located less than half a mile from the entrance to the Flight 93 National Memorial, along Route 30.
The Remember Me Rose Garden near Shanksville is a living tribute to the passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93, who sacrificed their own lives to save countless others during the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on America.
The Trail of Fallen Heroes is a driving tour that connects the four Somerset County memorials dedicated to the heroes of Flight 93 and the subsequent Global War on Terrorism.
The Glessner Covered Bridge is located less than 10 minutes from the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel.
Mount Davis – the highest point in Pennsylvania is also located in Somerset County.
If you happen to be visiting the area in October, 20 Fabulous Fall Foliage Destinations in the Laurel Highlands will show you why this part of PA is consistently ranked one of the best places in the United States for experiencing spectacular autumn views!
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16 Must-See Attractions in Somerset County is your guide to even more great things to see and do when visiting the area.
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