My friend Kay Krapf and I attended the grand opening of the Flight 93 Memorial with the new visitors center, on September 11, 2015. We were seated in a special section of family members of those lost, others who helped build the memorial and donors who give back to this most special Memorial. It was quite a weekend, arriving on September 10th, we got to see the twilight walk of family members, by the tall marble walls, engraved with all 40 of those who were lost. Each family member held a special lantern with a light in a Luminaria Ceremony. It was a very moving sight to see as each one walked by and then stood in front of their loved ones names. This tradition has been carried on each year that the marble wall has been put in place.
On the next day, September 11, 2015, we were seated with those in attendance to listen to speeches from many different officials from local newscasters to political and state representatives from Pennsylvania. Kay and I also got to speak to some of the family members and hear about their struggles of remembrance even to this day. Another person we met was the coroner, Wallace Miller, who has become a good friend and confidante to all the families of those lost. Even though we witnessed those family members coming up and talking to him like he was their best friend, he had a side conversation with Kay and I stating how it still is very difficult for him to be on site. The memories of that day will probably never be settled in his mind.
I would like to finish by talking about Henry Scully, the Executive Director for the Friends of Flight 93, who work in conjunction with the National Parks Service to manage the Memorial and its many events, including fundraising. I have spoken to Henry on many occasions and he made Kay and I feel so comfortable when we attended the Memorial service. Henry has given me advise from time to time, encouraging me to go on with the Project 911UP series of sculptures and letting me know how important they are. As I have donated to all three memorials, The 9/11 Museum in New York City, The Pentagon Memorial and the Flight 93 Memorial. I would especially like to give you all this link: https://www.flight93friends.org/donate Maybe if you can, would you please donate to their cause. It is a good one.
Kay and I know all too well just how important these memorials are; Kay and her late husband John having saved the 17 pieces of the concrete slurry wall on their land, and then now I have been chosen to be the artist to create these pieces into 9/11 memorials.