SHANKSVILLE (KDKA) – This date 13 years ago is one Americans will never forget, when terrorists took aim at America.

Hijacked planes hit the twin towers in New York City and the Pentagon. Another plane headed for Washington, D.C. was brought down here in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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A special memorial was held for the 13th anniversary of Sept. 11 at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville.

It was 9:28 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001, when 46 minutes after a routine flight from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, terrorists overtook the cockpit of Flight 93.

The field in Shanksville was never the intended target.

However, the seven crew members and 33 passengers fought back and in 30 minutes, developed a plan to try and take over.

In the meantime, 13 people aboard placed calls to officials and loved ones, who they feared they would never see again.

Their fears proved to be correct.

Flight 93 crashed into the empty field at a speed of 563 miles per hour.

The story will forever be told on the grounds and at a brand new visitor center complex that’s currently under construction and set to be completed by the end of 2015.

Today’s ceremony began at 9:45 a.m. and the names of the victims were read at 10:03 a.m., when the plane was brought down.

The anniversary has also been marked by the solemn sound of bells, 40 tolls for each passenger and crew member on the plane.

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“It’s a story of selfless valor, heroism forever woven to the fabric to our great nation’s history,” said Gordon Felt, the president of the Families of Flight 93.

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert spoke during the ceremony and gave his account of that tragic morning 13 years ago.

“I taught history as a school teacher. I taught history for 16 years about the British invading the United States 200 years ago, in 1814. Our country was at war, and I’m thinking the same thing has happened. We’re at war, we don’t know with who, or what for, or how, but this country, our freedom is in jeopardy,” Hastert said.

Gov. Tom Corbett also spoke and said, because of where their lives ended, the men and women of Flight 93 will forever be sons and daughters of Pennsylvania.

“People united in a single purpose took on the mentality of heroism and stopped the hand of evil before it could strike another blow against our nation,” he said.

In closing, Corbett said no matter what happens, Flight 93 proved to the world that there is no such thing as an ordinary American.

The Congressional Gold Medal was also presented for the first time at the memorial site. It was presented at the Capitol yesterday for the victims of Flight 93. It’s the highest civilan honor our nation an bestow.

Jeff Reinbold, the superintendent at the Flight 93 National Memorial, joined the “KDKA Morning News” to talk about how they will commemorate the day.

There is a wall with the names of those that were on board Flight 93. The wall points the final path of Flight 93 and leads to a gate where the actual crash site is. Only family members are permitted beyond that point.

“It’s one of the simplest things we do here, but one of the most powerful [and] it’s only on Sept. 11 when that gate is open. To see family members walk down, in almost a procession, down to the crash site is incredibly moving, you never see people in the field,” Reinbold said.

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