The Tower of Voices, a roughly 93-foot- (28-meter-) tall concrete and steel structure, is designed with a wind chime for each of the 40 passengers and crew members who were killed on
"Together their voices will ring out into perpetuity, with this beautiful
The memorial at a the crash site, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) north of
Family members and visitors streamed into the park Sunday morning, as a cold, driving rain pelted the mountainous region.
At the heart of the Tower of Voices are the chimes, aluminum tubes that range from 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) long and weigh as much as 150 pounds (68 kilograms). They have been tuned, but no one can be quite sure how they will sound until they are installed.
"We wanted to do, I'll call it a living memorial in sound, because the last memory of many of the people on the plane were through their voices on phone calls," said
Nearly 3,000 people died in the
The Flight 93 passengers learned in mid-flight they had been hijacked and responded heroically, declaring "let's roll" as they acted to confront their adversaries inside the plane. Officials concluded the terrorists were aiming the
Thirteen passengers on the plane made a combined 37 phone calls during the attack, getting information about the other three hijackings and crashes.
"When they learned that, it galvanized them as a group," Clark said. "They said, 'We're not going back to any airport. This is a suicide mission.'"
As some passengers apparently tried to storm the cabin, the hijacker at the controls then rolled the plane, trying to throw them off balance, before the aircraft became inverted and crashed at 563 mph (906 kph) on the edge of a reclaimed strip mine at
The impact ignited about 100 hemlock trees. Hemlocks are used as symbols throughout the memorial's design.
A 17-ton (15-metric ton) sandstone marks the impact site, located within a 44-acre (17.8-hectare) fenced-off area of the crash debris field referred to as the "sacred ground." Access to that part of the park is limited to family members of the passengers and crew. Four 40-foot (12.2-meter) containers of remaining debris from the crashed airplane were buried within the sacred ground area during a private ceremony on
The memorial was funded with
The dedication comes two days before the anniversary of the