Remsen man among speakers at Pennsylvania 9/11 observance

Published Sep 10, 2018 at 4:00pm

For Gordon W. Felt of Remsen, whose brother perished Sept. 11, 2001 aboard the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, he hopes people will continue to be inspired by the memory of the flight’s passengers who fought back against hijackers.

Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93 organization, will be among speakers Tuesday morning at a 17-year observance in Pennsylvania at which President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak as well.

Felt said Saturday that the theme of his remarks Tuesday will include encouraging people to remember “all the individuals we lost” on Sept, 11, 2001 and “to be inspired” by the Flight 93 passengers who were “able to rise up in the face of such horrific circumstances.”

Having President Trump scheduled to speak at the Tuesday ceremony is “an indication of the importance of the memory” of the Flight 93 passengers, said Felt.

To have “someone in that position” come to “honor our loved ones” is “a privilege...one we’re very proud of,” he added.

Felt’s brother Edward Porter Felt was among 40 passengers and crew on United Airlines Flight 93 who died when the plane crashed near Shanksville, Pa. on Sept. 11, 2001.

The actions of the passengers and crew members who fought back against hijackers that day are believed to have thwarted terrorists’ plans to take the plane to Washington, D.C. and crash it into the Capitol.

Two other hijacked planes that day crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, while another hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

At the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pa. near the crash site, a completed Tower of Voices Structure with 40 wind chimes in memory of the 40 victims was dedicated Sunday.

It was the final design element for the overall Flight 93 memorial site that has been under development for several years.

The chimes’ pitch design was created by Hamilton College’s Professor of Music Samuel Pellman, who was killed in an automobile accident while riding his bicycle shortly after completing the project.

Having the Tower of Voices dedicated is “just a feeling of relief” to see the last memorial design element finished, said Felt.

“To see the Tower of Voices standing defiantly at the entrance...to the memorial” and “knowing how much went into the process of creating it” is something to “feel very proud of,” Felt observed.

Felt said he has been president of the Families of Flight 93 organization for about 12 years. He has spoken at several of the annual observances in Pennsylvania, and said it is “an honor to represent our families’ organization...to be able to participate in these events.”