By Bob Handwork
Sunday, September 16, 2018 was the ABATE of Pennsylvania "Let’s Roll" ride to the Flight 93 National Memorial to honor the heroes of Flight 93. Motorcyclists joined in the benefit run meeting at Highland Harley-Davidson in Somerset, PA. Highland Harley-Davidson was open for this event from noon to 2:00 P.M. The event started with the playing of the National Anthem followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Senator Pat Stefano and Representative Carl Metzger were the guest speakers for the event. A prayer was given before the riders pulled out of the parking lot heading for the National Memorial. Somerset police provided an escort from the dealership to US-219. It was a scenic ride thanks to the Somerset County ABATE Chapter members which handled the blocking of traffic for the ride to the Flight 93 National Memorial. The ride ended at the Visitor Center Complex which houses artifacts and displays. Riders were also able to visit the Memorial Plaza with separate panels for each victim’s name and stop at the newly dedicated Tower of Voices.
On the morning of 9/11/2001, the hijacked Flight 93 crashed into a field in Somerset County near Shanksville, PA, killing the 40 innocent passengers and flight crew. “Let’s Roll” are the last words via cell phone by Todd Beamer, one of the passengers who bravely stormed the hijackers and helped to prevent the terrorists from targeting yet another Washington, D.C. site. Amid the remote field, a national park has taken shape to honor the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93. The final phase of the memorial is the 93 foot tower at the entrance with wind chimes for each of the victims and a grove of trees called the Tower of Voices.
The Flight 93 Memorial Act of 2002 created the National Memorial as an historic opportunity to honor the citizen heroes and to share the story of their courage. It is a monument to the very best of American character, a place where future generations can come to learn about how the actions of a few people can make a profound and lasting difference. These individuals were true heroes. They averted further tragedy, confusion, and chaos and thwarted those who would do harm to our nation. These were average, everyday Americans who gave their lives to save countless more. That courage reminds us that we are part of something greater than ourselves, that there are things in this world more important than ourselves. The American spirit lives on.
ABATE of PA is a Founding Sponsor of the Flight 93 National Memorial. The Flight 93 National Memorial Fund, a project of the National Park Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
Donations were collected to help sponsor the Flight 93 National Memorial. The 2018 donation from ABATE of PA to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund was $1,000.00. Along with the donations collected this year, ABATE of PA has donated more than $20,550.00 over the past several years to help fund the Flight 93 National Memorial. Somerset County ABATE Chapter paid and provided the insurance for the ride.
ALLIANCE OF BIKERS AIMED TOWARD EDUCATION better known as ABATE of PA is a statewide alliance of bikers dedicated to the protection of the individual rights of motorcyclists through the political changes, charitable works and public education.