Field of Faith


The United Methodist church in Shanksville, Pa., is about as small-town as you can get. But this tiny congregation found itself at the center of the biggest news event in the world. Here’s a look at how United Methodists have helped people heal after 9/11 ... in a field, which has become sacred ground.


From a distance they look huddled, these pilgrims standing in an old rural Pennsylvania strip mine. Two thousand cars a week, in and out of this quiet place.

This is the crash site of United Flight 93 ... the 40 men and women who took the plane back from the terrorists.

“It just gives me a feeling that I can come here and say a prayer for all of those poor people. I can do it at home, but it just seems to mean a little more when you’re here. It just gives you the chills.”

No one in tiny Shanksville realized what this site would become, but soon it was clear. People would have a need to come here. That's why United Methodist minister Ron Emery starded sending members of his congregation here to help in any way needed.

The Rev. Ron Emery: “People were just sort of aimlessly walking around. There was no way of connecting with what happened there. It helps put things into perspective.”

She gives directions, points out the exact crash site, and helps people make a spiritual connection.

Doris Baekel: “God had his hand in this for where it went down, and I think these people have a beautiful final resting place compared to those others of that day. It’s beautiful here.”

It is America's unplanned national memorial ... a place to heal ... with a little help from each other.

Posted: September 11, 2002