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Pittsburgh Prime Timers Tour Of Fort Ligonier And The Flight 93 National Memorial

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The first of our summer trips included a scenic drive along Pennsylvania's historic Lincoln Highway to Fort Ligonier and then to Flight 93 National Memorial.

Many Pittsburghers are familiar with the Lincoln Highway (U.S. Route 30), but did you know the highway started out as a dirt road cleared by early American settlers in the 1700s? After crossing the Delaware the road sprawled westward to Fort Ligonier. From there, a segment called the Forbes Road reached from Ligonier to Fort Duquesne which is now marked at Point State Park in Pittsburgh.


Fort Ligonier was a stronghold built by the British in 1758, an unpenetrated fort used as a vital link in the storage and transportation of supplies during the French and Indian War. Now the fort serves as a vital part of the local community as a tourist attraction.

Another destination is located just two miles off the Lincoln Highway, the Flight 93 National Memorial. The memorial is a tribute to the brave men and women involved in one of the most tragic events on American soil. Since its opening in 2015, the memorial has been enlarged and enhanced. The Tower Of Voices monument is currently being installed and is scheduled to open in September. A visit to the Flight 93 memorial promises to be a moving experience.

The Tour of Fort Ligonier and the Flight 93 Memorial was attended by 12 Prime Timers. We gathered at Starbucks in West Homestead and enjoyed coffee while we eagerly anticipated the journey ahead. The weather was nice and we had no significant problems with the selected route.

Though it took longer than we expected, everyone had fun exploring Fort Ligonier and learning or reinforcing history lessons from the past. Minutes away, we enjoyed lunch at Ruthie's Diner before continuing to The Flight 93 National Memorial. At the Memorial, although the sky was bright blue and the temperature was in the 70s, emotions turned slightly somber. Thoughts of being an American and sorrow for the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country overcame all of us. Before we left I signed the guest book on behalf of The Pittsburgh Prime Timers.

Here is what one of our members, Stephen Mallinger, wrote:


If I understood correctly, you were preparing the next newsletter. So I just want to add a few words about our trip today which you may want to include.

When Robert picked me up this morning for our excursion to Fort Ligonier and the 9/11 Memorial I never expected to have the emotions I had today. While Fort Ligonier was interesting and I was fascinated by the dioramas I saw in the museum, my real emotions came to fore when we entered the visitors' center at the 9/11 memorial where the American Flight 93 was seized by terrorists and the passengers fought back even though the plane crashed, killing all aboard. When we were looking at the multimedia exhibits there were probably about a hundred other people in the center, including a bus full of high school kids. You could have heard a pin drop in that building. I must admit as I was looking at the photos of the passengers on that American Airlines flight I was in tears. While I watched the monitors of those CNN broadcasts of the events the same feeling of horror came over me as it did those many years ago. And as I watched Presidents Bush and Clinton speak I was struck with the eloquence and comfort of their words. This was a very special PPT trip. Thank you, Robert.

Stephen Mallinger"


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Last modified on Tuesday, 07 August 2018 16:12


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