A gray and rainy afternoon in Shanksville was brightened by colorful umbrellas and raincoats and the sound of wind chimes ringing.
Sunday, the Tower of Voices was dedicated to honor the 40 heroes on Flight 93, who died while diverting a hijacked plane away from the United States Capitol on September 11, 2001.
The 93-foot tall tower will be the first thing visitors see and hear as they enter the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville.
The tower will feature 40 chimes for the 40 passengers and crew members, like Gordon Felt’s brother, Edward Felt.
“This is a such a monumental day for us,” said Gordon Felt, the president of the Families of Flight 93.
“So moving,” added Leslie Fine, who attended the Tower of Voices dedication from Jacksonville, Florida to support her friend, whose relative died on the plane.
The $6 million tower was funded by a National Park Foundation grant. Construction began in 2017. The tower is the third and final phase of the memorials at the park. However, it’s not finished yet. Only eight of the wind chimes rang out Sunday because crews wanted to make sure all the chimes were installed and tuned properly. The rest of the chimes will be installed later this fall.
Dozens of families braved the cold and the rain to attend the ceremony and pay tribute.
“I wouldn’t have missed it and I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way,” said Fine.
“Whatever we have to face to see this memorial is nothing compared to what they had to face,” Felt said.
Rain or shine, the wind chimes will remind anyone who hears them, that the voices of the 40 are not lost.
“They’re with us in spirit, certainly,” Felt said. “I hope they’re looking down on us and smiling.”