Thousands gathered yesterday at the site where hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed, killing ing 40 people.
By 10:03 a.m. — the moment when the Boeing 757 passenger jet slammed into the field in Shanksville, Pa. — the sun warmed the faces of those who marked the anniversary.
President Barack Obama arrived at midday to lay a wreath.
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The president and the first lady, Michelle Obama, walked to the boulder that marks the approximate site where the airplane crashed and then spent about 45 minutes talking with family members of the passengers and crew members who died.
Flight 93, bound for San Francisco from Newark, N.J., never hit its intended target — investigators believe the hijackers were planning to crash into either the U.S. Capitol or the White House — because some of the passengers stormed the cockpit and attempted, unsuccessfully, to regain control of the aircraft.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said their actions, which caused the plan to crash, “set a new standard for American bravery.”
Paul Greengrass, who directed a feature film about Flight 93, said the passengers’ achievement seems even more extraordinary today than it was a decade ago.