Roughly 75 student leaders from Ohio represented “93 Cents for Flight 93” at Shanksville’s Flight 93 memorial. The ceremony commemorated the heroes lost in the crashing of one of the hijacked planes on 9/11.
The organization is dedicated to spreading information about Flight 93 to students across the country. Based in Akron, Ohio, the organization spreads the story and facts about the fatal crash involving the deaths of dozens of innocent people.
For over nine years, 93 Cents has dedicated its time and resources to sharing the story of Flight 93. By teaching students about the heroism shown, the group hopes to encourage students to retell the story themselves.
The name of the group comes from their request for donations of at least 93 cents. They receive most of their donations from students because they want students to learn the value of sacrifice. Since its launch, nearly 75,000 students have spread the story of Flight 93 through over 10 states.
Adults involved in 93 Cents have high expectations of their students. Gina Mace, a member of the organization, wants kids to learn from the heroism of the passengers on board the plane:
“The more we can teach students about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, the more they will do the right thing when they are faced with a choice,” said Mace. “I get to watch as the story of the Flight 93 heroes gives a voice to the students who have never spoken in public before.”
Another goal is pushing to spread the story as far as possible due to limited coverage in textbooks. While Flight 93 may be briefly mentioned, adequate reference is not included in textbooks.
“I have yet to see a school book state more then one line ‘and a plane crashed in a field in Pa.’ Unacceptable!” said Sharon Deitrick, a fundraiser and volunteer of 93 Cents.
Volunteers visit classrooms to share the story with students. According to Deitrick, students understand that the sacrifices paid illustrate an effort to preserve our nation’s freedom.
“They understand that 40 strangers sat on a plane and were faced with unbelievable horror. They rallied together, developed a plan, voted and executed the plan, at the cost of their own lives, in less then 45 minutes!!” said Deitrick.
Despite lack of representation, plans have been established to implement the story of Flight 93 into the curriculum.
“We have many teachers, principals and superintendents helping to allow us to bring the program to their schools and help educate within the classrooms! Teachers are writing lesson plans that we share with other teachers. Students are helping us write educational pieces,” said Deitrick.
According to Deitrick, the organization is showing no signs of slowing down and keep counting their accomplishments.
“We will continue to work on this effort! It will be slow, but we have the passion to keep telling the story until it is written,” she said.