Services scheduled to honor victims of Flight 93 on 11th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

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SHANKSVILLE, Pa. - Victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks are being honored Monday at the United Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville.

Events will be held throughout the country to mark the anniversary of the attacks.

Monday evening, 40 candle lanterns will be set up as part of a luminary at the "Wall of Names," at the memorial dedicated to the passengers and crew onboard Flight 93 when it was overtaken by terrorists.  

The lanterns represent each of the victims.

Also on Monday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will tour the national memorial site.

King Laughlin, vice president of the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign, said Friday that at the current pace more than 1,000 bus groups will visit the park this year, almost double the number in 2011. More than 200,000 people are expected to visit this year.

United Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it was hijacked by four terrorists. The 9/11 Commission says the terrorists likely wanted to crash the plane into the White House or the U.S. Capitol, but the jet went down in a field near Shanksville, Pa., after passengers fought back.

Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at a ceremony honoring the victims on the 11th anniversary of the attacks.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Patrick White, president of the Families of Flight 93, will also speak at the ceremony.

The Sept. 11 observance begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Memorial Plaza.


The vice president previously visited Shanksville in 2010, when he delivered remarks at the dedication of the memorial.

White said in a statement: “Flight 93 families are honored to welcome back Vice President Joe Biden to the Flight 93 National Memorial on Sept. 11. His decision to attend gives comfort to the families whose loved ones died valiantly and in freedom’s name 11 years ago. His visit gives national prominence to the day, and to the effort to complete the memorial.”

The National Park Service advises visitors to arrive at least two hours early to park and get through security. The site will open at 7 a.m.

No backpacks or large bags will be permitted. Guests can bring their own chairs because there will be no seating available.