September 17, 2013 Planes and Planes

This morning we woke to a beautiful day, packed a lunch and headed to the Flight 93 National Memorial.

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What a beautiful tribute to those 40 extraordinary people.  The memorial is not totally finished but it is humbling.

The plane came in over this area (can you imagine the sound?):

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Walking from the parking lot to the start of the memorial:

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The wall along the walkway to the wall of names - this wall is the north boundary of the crash site:

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The Wall of Names - the wall is situated on the plane’s flight path:

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This is the crash site - the boulder marks the site:

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Only the families of the fallen are allowed here.  I took the picture through the gate.

A note about the flowers - they were all over the crash site and around the wall.  I talked with the ranger and she told me that the whole area has been seeded with wild flowers to bloom in various times throughout the year.  The meadow flowers (near the entrance) bloom in the spring.  The area around the crash site and around the wall blooms late summer/early fall - to coincide with September 11 (gives me the goose bumps).

The wall:

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The visitor center is due to open in 2015.

Being here was a very emotional experience for Andy and I.  Our America changed that day and these hero’s may have saved so many more lives.  God bless their families.

Last summer (2012), I was at the 9/11 memorial in New York City - another emotional experience. 

We highly recommend seeing one or both of these memorials. 


We then headed to the Johnstown Inclined Plane - the World’s Steepest Vehicular Incline Plane.

Here it is:

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It was built in 1891 by the Cambria Iron Company in the aftermath of the 1889 devastating flood to carry people, horses, and vehicles to Westmont.  It was originally powered by a steam engine.  In 1911, a 300 horsepower electric engine replaced the steam engine. (It currently has a 400 HP Engine.)  The Incline was designed by Samuel Diescher of Pittsburgh with a double set of tracks so the cars would counterbalance each other.

The cars were originally two floors: the top floor was for wagons and horses, while the bottom floor was a cabin large enough for twelve people.  Now think about that - horses on top, people on the bottom - hopefully it was waterproof - Smile.

In 1921, the cars were replaced with single deck cars.

The Incline is 896.5 feet long with a 71% grade - WOW!

We entered at the top where they have a gift shop, overlook, restaurant, and picnic area (where we first had lunch).  We decided to go down the plane - free for Andy, $4.00 for me, round trip (a bargain!). They leave every 15 minutes if there is someone there.  If no one is there, they wait until someone is there (Smile).

The view going down, with the counterbalance car coming up.

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At the bottom, there is a bridge across the river, then another across the highway to town.  This is the bridge across the river - it is a vehicular bridge - cars do take the ride to the top.

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The car - isn’t it beautiful!

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View of Johnstown from the top:

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This flag is 30’ by 60’ - one of the largest in the United States:

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Andy would LOVE to have this flag next to the motorhome - he is leaning against the pole at the bottom:

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One final look from the flag area - the Incline Plane Gift Shop / Restaurant Area is in the foreground:

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We made our way back to Ebensburg and stopped at the local Moose Lodge - another great time.

We ended the day with supper over the fire and enjoyed the rest of the evening by the fire.

Stay tuned for tomorrow - we are going to learn about the Johnstown Flood.

Enjoy today.


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