The dedication of a national memorial for United Flight 93 on Saturday will bring hundreds of victims' relatives and many dignitaries to the rural Pennsylvania field where the hijacked plane crashed nearly 10 years ago.
A somber ceremony in Shanksville will remember the 40 passengers and crew members who died _ some after fighting terrorists for control of the airliner _ and mark the first phase of construction of the $62 million memorial.
Vice President Joe Biden and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are among those expected to attend the event one day before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Grammy Award-winning musician Sarah McLachlan is scheduled to perform.
On Friday, family members of those who died on Flight 93 visited the site, read the guestbook and viewed the many mementos left by people from all over the world who have come to pay their respects.
Relatives shed some tears, but they also celebrated the spirit of the guestbook _ a rare feeling that people from vastly different walks of life had come together.
"I don't focus on what happened. You can't change that," said Lorne Lyles, whose wife, CeeCee Ross Lyles, had been working as a United Airlines flight attendant for only nine months on that September morning in 2001.
"Coming here is more of a celebratory thing. She's been memorialized," Lyles said. "Just to see the outpouring from all over the world is touching. You really do have some caring people in the world."
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar spoke at the site Friday. He noted that for all the progress on the memorial, there's still work to be done. When it's finished, it will include a "Tower of Voices" with 40 wind chimes.
Public and private donors have contributed $52 million, but $10 million more is needed to build a true visitors center and to finish landscaping, Salazar said.
"We will not be able to complete the site" without additional funding, he said.
Anniversary ceremonies are also planned this weekend in New York and Washington, where hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Flight 93 National Memorial: http://www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm