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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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Flag Bodies

Flag Bodies

Commemoration in the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel

(p.111) 4 Flag Bodies
Angel Patriots

Alexander T. Riley

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel in Shanksville as a commemoration of United Airlines Flight 93. It first provides the narrative on the origin of the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel before discussing some of the meanings being associated with the chapel, in the form of possible or likely readings of its symbolism in the context of the broader American culture. It then considers how people interact with the symbolic material at the chapel and how these interactions change the meanings that emerge from the symbols. It also explores the cultural narrative at work in the chapel, with particular emphasis on how dead bodies and their representations, even if they are not the bodies of heroes, acquire special symbolic importance. The chapter suggests that the basic meaning of the American flags present in the chapel is tied into the sacrificial death and transfiguration of the hero.

Keywords:   flags, Flight 93 Memorial Chapel, Shanksville, commemoration, United Airlines Flight 93, symbolism, American culture, symbols, dead bodies, heroes

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