The Field

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On the 5th Anniversary of the crash of United Flight 93, Wally Miller, the Somerset County Coroner, and one of the first on the scene of the crash site, hears birds sing for the first time since the crash. 88% of the remains of the passengers on the flight still rests within the forest.

September 11 Ceremonies at Flight 93 National Memorial

September 11 Ceremonies at Flight 93 National Memorial

Family members walk through the rain to the impact site during 13th anniversary ceremonies commemorating the September 11th attacks near the Wall of Names at the Flight 93 National Monument September 11, 2014 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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An eyewitness describes the angle of the plane as he watched it come into the field.

The Flight 93 National Monument educates travelers to site.

The Flight 93 National Monument educates travelers to site.

The Flight 93 National Monument educates travelers to site.

15th Anniversary Of Sept. 11th Attacks Commemorated At Flight 93 National Memorial In Shanksville, Pennsylvania

15th Anniversary Of Sept. 11th Attacks Commemorated At Flight 93 National Memorial In Shanksville, Pennsylvania

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The Field

The Field

It was the stroke of violence there that brought terrorism to the front door of each home along every dirt road in Everywhere, America. “Flyover country” has its own Ground Zero.

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Defense Secretary Panetta Visits Flight 93 Memorial Ahead Anniversary

Defense Secretary Panetta Visits Flight 93 Memorial Ahead Anniversary

United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta tours the Flight 93 National Memorial with Families of Flight 93 President Patrick White during wreath-laying ceremonies commemorating the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.

Items left at the memorial by visitors.

Items left at the memorial by visitors.

Items left at the memorial by visitors.

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A visitor to the memorial site makes a photo of a wall of photos of the passengers aboard the plane.

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The Field

Photography by Jeff Swensen

The field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania was a patch of scrub next to the Diamond T reclaimed strip mine outside of Shanksville. 

It was the stroke of violence there that brought terrorism to the front door of each home along every dirt road in Everywhere, America. “Flyover country” has its own Ground Zero.  

This was the first attack on the rural countryside since the Civil War. People go there from all around the nation now; Important people and everyday people.

There is a big memorial there now, a testament to a shining loss of innocence and a wondering of the wisdom from it all. 

"Patriotism" has become a common cultural theme within our nation. How this pursuit manifests itself is witnessed sartorially, politically and ethnically. Watching people visit Shanksville over 16 years and noticing the nuances of how the field has been transformed may provide an insight into where we are headed.

Are we any wiser? Or is this just our culture now?

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