Following the death of Osama bin Laden, the National Park Service was expecting higher traffic than usual at the Flight 93 temporary memorial in southwestern Pennsylvania Monday.
Meanwhile, Shanksville’s residents were not making too much of a fuss over the news bin Laden is dead.
The unfinished memorial, overlooking the field where the hijacked airplane crashed on Sept. 11, 2001, usually opens at 9 a.m.
Monday, reporters were parked outside before dawn, and park rangers opened the gates at 7 a.m.
A few miles down the road in Shanksville, most residents declined to be interviewed about the news, saying they had to go to work.
It was a sharp contrast to New York City and Washington, D.C., where people were singing and chanting in reaction to bin Laden’s death.
William Murray, who lives just a few miles from the site but has never visited, said he had been waiting for the permanent memorial’s September opening. He changed his mind and went to the site Monday.
Murray said he is glad bin Laden’s gone, but added he is still a bit apprehensive.
“I believe he got what he deserved, but I’d rather see him captured, and pay for what he’d done other than just killed him off, like they have,” Murray said. “He’ll become a martyr. Probably be comeback on this, I imagine, from someone.”
Memorial superintendent Keith Newlin was bracing for more visitors than usual.
“We did open a little earlier today. I mean, the construction people are onsite. But we opened a little bit earlier,” he said.
The memorial has been scaled down as construction crews build a permanent structure.
Right now, the temporary site is nothing more than a chain fence adorned with flags.