Sunday, in partnership with the Families and Friends of Flight 93 and the National Park Foundation, the Flight 93 National Memorial broke ground on the visual and audible reminder of the courageous actions of the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93.
The Tower of Voices (TOV) marks the final phase of major construction of the memorial’s original design and will stand 93 feet tall with 40 wind chimes contained within the structure that will serve as a memory of the voices of the passengers and crew who died on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
The TOV itself is a musical instrument. The shape and orientation of the tower are designed to optimize air flow through the tower walls to reach the interior chamber. The Tower's walls will be constructed of precast concrete segments, linked together with connectors to form a 'C' shape that will allow the sound of the chimes to reflect outward across an oval, raised concrete plaza.
Each of the 40 wind-activated chimes within the tower will produce a musical note that sounds in harmony with surrounding chimes. Each chime tube is made of polished aluminum measuring eight to 16-inches in diameter, varying in length from five to ten feet. The length of the chime determines its tone and are tuned to create a sense of the serenity and nobility.
“The intent is to create a set of forty tones, or voices, that can express through consonance the serenity and nobility of the site while also through dissonance recalling the event that consecrated the site,” said Architect Paul Murdoch. “The National Park Service, with the help of the design team, has engineered an audio simulation of what these chimes may sound like when they are fully installed next year.”
“There are no other chime structures like this in the world,” said Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent Steve Clark. “This unique structure will complete all of the major components of our permanent memorial in a most beautiful way. Not only will it be the first thing visitors see and hear when they arrive at the memorial, it will provide an opportunity for reflection as they depart.”
The design and construction of the TOV – totaling nearly $6 million – is being funded by a grant from the National Park Foundation. This contribution is in addition to the more than $40 million the Foundation raised through its Flight 93 National Memorial Capital Campaign to fund reforestation of the park’s landscape and design and construct the park’s Memorial Plaza, Wall of Names, 40 Memorial Groves, and Field of Honor.
Construction of the tower will begin in late September with anticipated completion and a dedication ceremony in September 2018.