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Angel PatriotsThe Crash of United Flight 93 and the Myth of America$
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Alexander T. Riley

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479870479

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479870479.001.0001

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The Sacralization of Shanksville

The Sacralization of Shanksville

The Emergence of the Temporary Memorial Site

(p.68) 3 The Sacralization of Shanksville
Angel Patriots

Alexander T. Riley

NYU Press

This chapter explores the spontaneous, individualized memorialization of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville. It first examines the symbolic material that makes “The End of Serenity”—a photograph taken by a woman of the immediate aftermath of the Flight 93 crash—work by focusing on what the mythologist Gilbert Durand called anthropological archetypology. It then considers alternative narratives concerning Flight 93 that rely on elements of the American social imaginary rooted in populist distrust of official and state power. It also provides an overview of public participation in the local memorialization work that began in Shanksville immediately after the Flight 93 crash, along with the role of flags in the symbolic and mythological work around the Flight 93 temporary memorial. Finally, the chapter reflects on the speeches made during the annual marking of 9/11 in 2008 and 2011.

Keywords:   memorialization, United Airlines Flight 93, Shanksville, photograph, anthropological archetypology, public participation, flags, myth, temporary memorial, 9/11

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