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VP Kamala Harris, Former Pres. George W. Bush Share Their Reflections At Ceremony for Flight 93 In Shanksville

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

SOMERSET COUNTY (KDKA) -- The ceremony to honor the heroic passengers and crew of Flight 93 began at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

Today marks the 20th year since the 9/11 attacks and the people of Flight 93's brave efforts to stop the hijackers.

The official ceremony was held at Memorial Plaza, and former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Kamala Harris attended the event, with Harris serving as the keynote speaker.

10:10 a.m.: All the names of the Flight 93 victims have been read by their loved ones.

10:24 a.m.: Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf begins to speak at the memorial.

"This place reminds us each day what it means to be an American," Wolf said.

10:28 a.m.: Amazing Grace begins to be sung at the memorial site.

10:33 a.m. Gordon Felt, President of Families of Flight 93, speaks in front of those attending the ceremonies. He is the brother of passenger Edward Porter Felt.

"And here in the skies over southwestern Pennsylvania, 40 individuals, mostly strangers...found the courage to band together at moment's notice," Felt said. "Under extreme conditions, [they] were able to avert the course of history."

10:48 a.m.: Former President George Bush takes the stand to share his reflections 20 years after 9/11.

"20 years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans on a routine flight to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. The 33 passengers and 7 crew on Flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. In a sense, they stood in for us all. The terrorists soon discovered that a random group of Americans is an exceptional group of people," Bush said. "Facing an impossible circumstance, they comforted their loved ones by fighting, braced each other for action, and defeated the designs of evil. These Americans were brave, strong and united in ways that shocked the terrorists. It should not surprise any of us. This is the nation we know."

11:00 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland addresses the crowd.

11:04 a.m.: Vice President Kamala Harris begins her keynote address.

"I remember when I first learned what happened on that fateful flight. What happened on Flight 93 told us then and still tells us so much about the courage of those on board who gave everything they possibly could, about the resolve of the first responders who risked everything, and about the resilience of the American people," Harris said.

11:14 a.m.: The ceremonies at the memorial site start to conclude.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived around 12:30 p.m. Saturday to pay their respects and participated in the wreath-laying ceremony.

Following the ceremony, President Joe Biden visited the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Company and met with those at the station.

"I know you've heard me say it before, and I'll probably get criticized for saying it again, but these memorials are really important, but they're also incredibly difficult for the people who were affected by them - because it brings back the moment you got the phone call," President Biden said. "It brings back that instant you got the news, no matter how many years go by."

How to watch KDKA-TV News coverage of the 20th anniversary of 9/11

What: KDKA-TV News will be live-streaming the ceremonies in Shanksville.
Date: Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time: 9:45 a.m. ET
Location: Memorial Plaza in Shanksville
Online Stream: Only available for streaming on CBSN Pittsburgh. Watch through our live player above or go to

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