PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With just a week until the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, some dramatic new video taken just after the crash of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Somerset County, has surfaced.
Shanksville has become an iconic part of America’s 9/11 history after the crash of Flight 93 in an abandoned strip mine. It followed an attempt by some passengers and crew members to regain control of the plane from a group of four terrorists.
Now, a decade after the crash and after countless tributes, memorials and stories about the heroes on board the ill-fated flight, a new video and audio description of the crash has surfaced in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat newspaper.
It provides a unique, calm, first-person perspective.
“I just saw the smoke come up and the explosion shook the house clear over here, and it shook the heck out of the house,” says the voice of Dave Berkebile on the video.
Berkebile, who died suddenly earlier this year, shot the video from the porch of his home a few miles from where the plane when down. It was a matter-of-fact description of history in the making.
“I don’t know what else is happening; [a plane] went into the Pentagon and into the World Trade Center and we’re watching it on TV and this one happened,” Berkebile said on the video.
As his camera rolled, Berkebile had no way of knowing about the life and death struggle that had just taken place on board the plane.
“A great, big, black cloud just mushroomed right up into the air and it shook the house, shook everybody’s houses,” Berkebile said on the video.
Cathy Berkebile now lives out of state. In a phone interview, she recalled the morning of the crash.
“Dave had the presences of mind to pick up the camera and go outside,” said Berkebile’s widow. “We were all just sort of in a state of shock and, as I recall, somebody called and said they had the scanner on and there was a plane crash over in Shanksville.”
With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, Berkebile says, seldom a day passes that she doesn’t think about the heroes of that September morning.
“It was just a crushing thing that happened to our people in that we were attacked, and we sit and we’re always so appreciative of the patriotic holidays of what the men and women have done for us to protect us,” added Berkebile.