Wausau Wisconsin Red Granite now provides the focal point of the first memorial recently dedicated to the 40 brave men and women on the United Flight 93 that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001.
The 40, 6-ft tall red granite stones, quarried at Michels’ Anderson Brothers & Johnson division’s Wausau, Wis.-quarry, pays tribute to each one of the passengers and crew members who were killed.
The memorial is set in Union City, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco where the flight was headed. If Flight 93 had made it home that day, chances are it would have flown right over the Union City site. Another fact that makes this site unique is that it was built entirely with donated materials and labor with Michels donating the granite used as the centerpiece for this most impressive memorial.
The memorial starts at a Plaza of Remembrance with three 10-ft granite stones that tell the story of Flight 93 and those who contributed to the memorial. They face a tree planted with Pennsylvania soil from the field where the plane tragically crashed. At the other end of the winding path is the Plaza of Hope with a flagpole surrounded by colorful tiles made by local school children. But it is the 40 red granite stones along this winding path that truly stand out. One side of each stone is polished smooth and shiny, the other is rough, symbolizing a life unfinished. Each is engraved with the victims’ name, age and hometown, above each name is a reflective mirror. Designers said the mirror is to reflect that on that day, it could have been any one of us and that the stones stand erect to represent the first people who stood up for freedom and against the terrorism that came to the United States.