On September 11, 2001, al-Qaida terrorists hijacked four planes, crashed two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and a third into the Pentagon. Passengers and crew on the fourth plane, which was headed for the U.S. Capitol, thwarted the hijackers, crashing the aircraft into a reclaimed strip mine in a rural part of southwestern Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, a $26 million visitor complex in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, honoring the victims of United Flight 93 will be dedicated and opened to the public.
“Elsa, it’s Lin. I’m on United 93. It’s been hijacked by terrorists who say they have a bomb,” Ms. Gonlund said in a message that can now be heard by the public for the first time at the new Flight 93 National Memorial Visitors Center. “Mostly I just want to say I love you, and I’ll miss you.”
The visitor center officially opens today with a ceremony here. Viewers will see 10 exhibit panels in the elegant space, set among sculpture-like walls, that take viewers on a chronological, historical and emotional tour across the events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and here on the day of the terrorist attack.
It is midway through the exhibit, at the fifth panel, that visitors get to listen to Ms. Gronlund, as well as two other voice mail messages left by flight attendant CeeCee Lyles, and passenger Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. Ms. Lyles’ and Ms. Grandolas’ messages have been heard publicly before, but not Ms. Gronlund’s.
The families of those onboard the flight toured the $26 million that is operated by the National Park Service on Wednesday.