National Park Service to Return the Remaining Flight 93 Wreckage to the Crash Site

Flatbed truck with a large shipping container drives under a suspended American flag as onlookers salute.
National Park Service staff, Families of Flight 93, and local first responders line up to honor the returning wreckage.

NPS photo

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News Release Date: June 1, 2018

Contact: Stephanie Loeb, National Park Service, 215-268-2614

Contact: Lisa Linden, Families of Flight 93, 917-589-5443

UPDATED 7/9/2018
On June 21, 2018, the wreckage of Flight 93 was transported to and buried at the crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Four shipping containers (one pictured above) arrived at the site holding the recovered wreckage. Visitors to the memorial, local first responders, National Park Service staff, and several family members of those aboard Flight 93 stood watch as the containers arrived. The burial took place during a private ceremony at a restricted access zone on the sacred ground of Flight 93 National Memorial.


SHANKSVILLE, PA – Later this year, the remaining wreckage of Flight 93 will be returned to Flight 93 National Memorial as part of a longstanding effort by the Families of Flight 93, the National Park Service (NPS), and the National Park Foundation. The burial will take place in a restricted access zone on the sacred ground of Flight 93 National Memorial and will not be accessible to the public or the media.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded its on-site investigation of the crash in September 2001, the remaining wreckage of the plane has been in secure storage until an appropriate time to return the wreckage to the crash site at Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“Now that we are nearing the completion of the major design components of the memorial, we are ready to return the remaining wreckage to this hallowed ground to be buried later this year,” said Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent Stephen Clark.

The NPS will release a report of the items collected and their intended use later this year.

In 2015, Flight 93 National Memorial opened the doors to its visitor center, and this year will mark the completion of the memorial’s original design with the dedication of the Tower of Voices, a 93-foot tall structure with 40 wind chimes that will serve as an enduring memory of the voices of the passengers and crew members. A dedication ceremony is planned for September 9, 2018.

The NPS coordinated with the Families of Flight 93 to complete a search of the wreckage prior to its burial. "We requested one final search of the debris in order to determine if there were any human remains or identifiable personal items,” said President of the Families of Flight 93 Gordon Felt.

The NPS assembled a collection recovery team, led by Flight 93 National Memorial Curator Brynn Bender. “It was important for us to touch everything so we knew, without a doubt, that every possible effort was made to reunite family members with any objects belonging to their loved ones,” said Bender. “We also searched for significant pieces that may help tell the heroic story of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93.”

Superintendent Clark said, “The National Park Service is deeply honored to be a partner to the Families of Flight 93 and to preserve the memory of 40 brave passengers and crew members whose courageous actions on September 11, 2001, thwarted a terrorist attack on our nation’s capital.”



Frequently Asked Questions

Later this year, the remaining wreckage of Flight 93 will be returned to Flight 93 National Memorial as part of a longstanding effort by the Families of Flight 93, the National Park Service (NPS), and the National Park Foundation (NPF). The burial will take place in a restricted access zone on the sacred ground of Flight 93 National Memorial and will not be accessible to the public or the media.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded its on-site investigation of the crash in September 2001, the remaining wreckage of the plane has been in secure storage until an appropriate time to return the wreckage to the crash site at Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The NPS coordinated with the Families of Flight 93 to complete a search of the wreckage prior to its burial. The NPS assembled a collection recovery team and will release a report of the items collected and their intended use later this year.

The remaining wreckage of Flight 93 has been placed in storage containers and will be buried at the memorial on a date to be determined.

Primarily airplane wreckage, some personal effects, and a very small amount of unidentified human remains were found. The NPS will release a report of the items collected and their intended use later this year.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Victim Services Division offered their services to the Families of Flight 93.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded its on-site investigation of the crash in September 2001, the remaining wreckage of the plane has been in secure storage until there is an appropriate time to return the wreckage to the crash site at Flight 93 National Memorial.

In 2015, the Flight 93 National Memorial opened the doors to its visitor center, and this fall will mark the completion of the memorial’s original design with the dedication of the Tower of Voices, a 93-foot tall structure with 40 wind chimes that will serve as an enduring memory of the voices of the passengers and crew members.

Now that the memorial’s major design components are nearing completion, the site is ready to return the remaining wreckage to this hallowed ground.

The Families of Flight 93 requested one final search in order to determine if there were any human remains or identifiable personal items.
The NPS coordinated with the Families of Flight 93 to complete a search of the wreckage prior to its burial. The NPS assembled a collection recovery team, led by Flight 93 National Memorial Curator Brynn Bender. The recovery team created a detailed plan based on museum curatorial methodologies and protocols. Bender, alongside colleagues from Flight 93 National Memorial, the Northeast Region Museum Services Center, and the FBI’s Evidence Response Team, methodically examined each object. A small group of representatives from the Families of Flight 93 were on site to both witness and participate in the recovery efforts.
As with previously buried unidentified human remains at the memorial, these remains will not be identified.
The burial will take place in a restricted access zone on the sacred ground of Flight 93 National Memorial and will not be accessible to media or public.

A ceremony for the burial of Flight 93’s wreckage will not take place. Later this year, a private ceremony will be held by the Families of Flight 93 to re-inter the unidentified human remains.

Last updated: July 9, 2018

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P.O. Box 911
Shanksville, PA 15560

Phone:

(814) 893-6322

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