WASHINGTON – A design consisting of a chapel with 40 metallic wind chimes was chosen as a permanent memorial to the victims of Flight 93 (search), which was hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001 and crashed in a Pennsylvania field, officials said Wednesday.
The "Crescent of Embrace" (search) memorial, created by a team of designers led by Paul Murdoch Architects, was selected from five finalists and approved at a meeting of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission, which oversaw the one-year competition.
"It's probably one of the most significant milestones in our effort to memorialize the heroism of the passengers and crew of Flight 93," said Hamilton Peterson, president of the Families of Flight 93 (search). His father and stepmother were killed in the crash.
With names like "Disturbed Harmony" and "Memory Trail," each design under consideration reflected a different approach. One featured a Bravery Wall inscribed with the names of the dead, while another was more natural, with a meadow of herbs, grasses and wildflowers.
The winning design consists of a chapel with 40 chimes, one for each of the passengers and crew who died on Flight 93. Pedestrian trails and a roadway run through the park leading to a visitor center and the actual crash site. The memorial is designed to spread across 2,000 acres.
At the site is a cluster of trees and a white marble wall with the 40 names inscribed.
A 15-member jury made up of family members, community members and design professionals was tasked with making a final recommendation on the design. The five were selected from 1,011 designs originally submitted for the site.
The memorial will be built in Shanksville, Pa., where the plane crashed.
By unveiling the design in Washington, organizers hope to garner more publicity for its campaign to raise $30 million in private dollars for the project. The fund-raising campaign is being co-chaired by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who oversaw operations in Afghanistan and Iraq after the terrorist attacks.
The state of Pennsylvania has already donated more than $10 million for the memorial. A projected date for the opening has not been set.
Flight 93 was on its way to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., when it was hijacked and crashed about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The official 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers tried to take control of the cockpit.
Flight 93 was the only of four hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, that did not take a life on the ground.
Since the crash, more than 130,000 people annually have visited a temporary memorial made of chain link fence at the crash site, and have left behind more than 20,000 items such as baseball caps and American flags.
Some of the items will be used in exhibits, but others will be studied by researchers seeking to understand how people reacted to the terrorist attacks, said Barbara Black, curator of the Flight 93 National Memorial.
The design selected still must get the approval of the director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior.