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USS Somerset sailors to honor 40 Flight 93 heroes with flags

USS Somerset (US Navy/Released)

Sailors serving on the USS Somerset will commemorate Sept. 11 this week by placing 40 flags on a hill overlooking a borough gateway in memory of the 40 heroes who lost their lives in the United Flight 93 crash.

The flags will be among 2,977 flags placed at the Pennsylvania Turnpike entrance — one for each life lost in Somerset County; Washington, D.C.; and New York City the day of the terrorist attacks on America.

The Somerset County Chamber of Commerce organized the event to introduce the sailors to the community that inspired the ship’s name and help them better understand the relationship between the Somerset region and Flight 93 — since the crash happened before some of them were even born, Somerset Chamber Executive Director Ron Aldom said.

“We’re commemorating a tragedy some of them might not know a lot about,” Aldom said. “They’re from all across the country and, understandably, some of them were probably toddlers when it happened.”

Somerset Chamber staff said the flag planting is an effort to “bridge the gap” between generations who understand 9/11 differently.

Volunteers from age four to 94 already spent time planting the first wave of flags — and the hope is that the step will build camaraderie and understanding between those whose lives were changed by the attacks and those who have only read about it.

The Chamber is also hosting the sailors during the group’s annual Open “Fore” Business Golf Tournament at Hidden Valley on Thursday.


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