9/11 memorial nears completion 17 years after terrorist attack

The only incomplete 9/11 memorial site in the country gets its final major component this year. The Tower of Voices, the final part of the Flight 93 National Memorial, is making its debut Sept. 9 in Shanksville, Pa., the National Park Service says.

The Tower, standing 93 feet tall to represent United Airlines Flight 93, will have 40 wind chimes to represent each of the 40 passengers and crew members killed in the plane's highjacking, National Park Service's Chief of Interpretation and Education MaryJane Hartman told Fox News.

The 40 wind chimes will be placed in the Tower before the Sept. 9 dedication.

The 40 wind chimes will be placed in the Tower before the Sept. 9 dedication. (Fox News)

"40 is a very significant number," Hartman said, adding that 40-degree angles are seen throughout the structure. She noted that the number 40 also represents Flight 93’s angle of impact, as well as the degree of the branches on the hemlock trees that were destroyed by the plane.

Lorraine Bay was a senior flight attendant on that United Airlines flight, and for families like Bay’s, this memorial will serve as a reminder of the lives lost.

"She was the cool older sister that I never had," Ed Root, Bay's cousin, told Fox News.

Lorraine Bay was a senior flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93.

Lorraine Bay was a senior flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 93. (Fox News)

"Wishing you lasting success in all of your endeavors. Love, Lorraine," Root read aloud from a note his cousin gave him. He said he always looked forward to family gatherings with her.

"Christmas Eves were always a highlight of the year," he remembers. "Thanksgivings were always a highlight of the year."

On 9/11, there was only one word to describe what he felt when a voice on the other end of the phone gave him the news.

"Shock," Root said.

Over the past several years Root got to know the other families whose loved ones had also died in the crash.

"The nicest people we should have never had to meet," Root said, adding that this was a phrase they had heard throughout the years of grieving.

The National Park Service says the planning and funding of the Tower of Voices has been a years-long process.

"It’s been a very long haul," Hartman said. "It's been nearly 17 years to get this memorial completed."

Before the first piece of the Tower was placed on the ground, one construction coordinator said 9,000 planning hours had gone into the project.

"You're only going to get one shot at doing this and everybody wants it to be right," Guy Fiore told Fox News.

For Rot, the dedication of the Tower will be a bittersweet moment.

"I think whenever I hear those chimes or see those chimes, I’ll hear Lorraine's voice," he said.

"It is the only wind chime structure of its kind that we know of in the world," Hartman said, adding that the chimes' sounds will each be unique to represent each of the 40. "There is that little bit of discord...to represent the struggle and the fight that occurred on Flight 93."

The dedication of the Tower of Voices will be held at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania on Sept. 9.