Families of the forty people who died on Flight 93 stood to applaud Somerset County coroner Wallace Miller Sunday during a moving ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Miller led the recovery efforts of human remains and personal effects following the crash of the Boeing 757-200 into the abandoned strip mine. The part-time coroner and full-time funeral home director has made the protection of the site and the remains a personal mission.
Later in the event the families turned to thank crowds of thousands who came out for the ceremony just one day after the first phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial officially opened.
Gordon Felt, the brother of Edward Porter Felt who died on Flight 93, said he's grateful for the people who have come together to memorialize the sacrifice of the plane's forty heroic passengers and crew, who fought back against the four hijackers aboard.
"I cannot get past the fact that I only wish I could have gotten to know each and every one of you under different circumstances. We lost too much those ten years ago," said Felt.
The event was filled with dignitaries including, Pennsylvania Governor Corbett, former Governor Tom Ridge, and local members of Congress, Mark Critz and Bill Shuster.
"Tragedies teach us but they do not stop us. We are still the freest, most blessed nation in this treasured world. And we will long honor that role with the memory and guidance of forty good shepherds," said Tom Ridge, who was governor at the time of the attacks and later became the first head of the Department of Homeland Security.
President Obama and the First Lady arrived after the commemoration ceremony to lay a wreath at the newly unveiled wall of names.