On the eve of the 20-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on America, U.S. Semiquincentennial Chairman, Dan DiLella, was an invited participant in the Luminaria ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial of the National Park Service. The memorial is located in Stonycreek Township, Somerset, Pa., at the site of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was one of four planes hijacked during the attacks. Passengers and crew members had fought back against the hijackers, and because of the heroic actions of those 40 passengers and crew, the intended attack on the U.S. Capitol was thwarted.

Chairman DiLella was one of 40 invited guests to carry a lantern during the Luminaria ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial. (Courtesy of Monica DiLella.)

“I was honored to attend the Flight 93 National Memorial in commemoration of the 40 American heroes who lost their lives in on 9/11. The families of the victims, the community of Somerset, Pa., and the National Park Service have beautifully captured the stories of these extraordinary Americans to live on in perpetuity at the Memorial.”

Daniel M. DiLella, Chairman of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission

During the ceremony 40 candle lanterns are lit and carried by family members, distinguished guests, and Friends of Flight 93 members, and placed below the names of each of the passengers and crew members of Flight 93, illuminating the Wall of Names. Luminara is attended by thousands of members of the surrounding Somerset community and beyond, and precedes the nation’s annual day of mourning and remembrance.