News From Terre Haute, Indiana

CNHI Special Projects

September 7, 2011

Tiny town becomes American landmark after attacks

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. — Robin Duppstadt waited for a relative to bring a television to her family's store at mid-morning on Sept. 11, 2001, so she could watch the news about hijacked airliners flying into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Then she heard and felt a loud noise that seemed to come from just outside the store’s front door. It was United Airlines Flight 93 crashing into a former coal mine field a mile or so away at 10:06 a.m.

She thought right away there must be a connection even though this tiny town of 200 had no strategic importance to the organized terrorist attack on the United States that fateful day.

“It was real fast,” she said. “It sounded like something fell over, and we ran out the front door,” crash scene smoke visible in the sky just north of town.

Tucked away in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, Shanksville changed in an instant from rural obscurity to American landmark, the place where a hijacked airliner plunged to earth instead of hitting its intended target: the U.S. Capitol building 125 miles away.

It changed forever the pastoral nature of the community. Now travelers by the thousands flock to Shankesville to view the crash scene, the national memorial to the hero passengers and crew, and to hear local stories about that day.

They also want to tell her their stories – where they were when they learned of the attacks, who they knew among the victims and how they’ve been affected. “We get some off-the-wall conspiracy theorists, too,” said Duppstadt. “I just listen to them.”

Dan Santoro, associate professor of sociology at he University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, said it was purely happenstance that Shanksville “ended up being in the center of what happened.”

But, he added, it also drove home the point to Americans everywhere that “something like this can hit them at home.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
CNHI Special Projects
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Israel Widens Attack As Gaza Death Toll Rises Raw: Militants, Israelis Exchange Rocket Fire Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets Netherlands Beats Host Brazil 3-0 to Finish 3rd Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll
NDN Video
Cellphone Video Shows Assault Tracy Morgan released from rehab month after crash LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity