A Common Field
This land is first settled in the late 1700s. For a century and a half, much of the area remains wooded, with cultivated fields and pastures surrounding a few scattered farmhouses and barns.
Beginning in the 1950s, mining reshapes the landscape. Huge machines scrape away layers of soil and rock to reveal long, black seams of coal. Enormous trucks travel this road, hauling away coal to steel mills and power plants. Coal mining brings people and jobs.
In the mid-1990s, surface mining of these lands ends. Although unused mining equipment and industrial buildings litter the area, the rocky land is being reclaimed. Coarse grasses and small trees are planted, mine water is treated to improve its quality, and wildlife is returning.
A Field of Honor
On September 11, 2001, the land is transformed again by the actions of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Right 93. Because of their struggle with terrorists, the airplane crashes - just two miles ahead and not at the terrorists' intended target in Washington, D.C. At the site of the crash, a memorial and verdant trees, grasses, and wildflowers embrace this land. Millions of people from around the world come to pay their respects.