Town’s identity will forever be linked to Sept. 11, 2001

'It was very personal because it was here. It was our town. Little Shanksville." … “I felt like it’s a cemetery, and somebody had to take care of it because the families weren’t from here. It had to be us.”

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National News

September 10, 2021 - 4:51 PM

Downtown Shanksville, a tiny borough in Somerset County, lost its obscurity 20 years ago when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a former coal field nearby. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — Judi Baeckel put up her American flag as usual outside her home the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and gazed up at the limitless blue sky that aviators call “severe clear.”

“I thought, ‘Oh, it’s going to be such a beautiful, wonderful day today,’” she recalled a couple of weeks ago.

Within hours, United Airlines Flight 93, almost belly up and engines screaming, slammed into a grassy field a mile or so from her front door.

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