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Sept. 11 will live on in our minds forever. It was a day that changed the U.S. As the saying goes, “Let us never forget,” and one of the best ways to remember is a memorial.

The newest and arguably the largest, or at the very least the longest, is the new September 11 National Memorial Trail. The multi-use route (by foot or by bike) links the three commemorative sites: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Flight 93 Memorial via a collection of 1,300 miles of canal paths, urban greenways, and rural roads in a triangular route. It’s a celebration of the freedom, resilience and history throughout the communities along the way.

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Just days after Sept. 11, 2001, governors from Maryland and Pennsylvania along with numerous federal and state partners met just blocks from the Pentagon, and the plans began for the memorial. Today, the nonprofit September 11 National Memorial Trail has developed the route, nearly half of which is on traffic-protected paths. Along the route, find historic sites such as the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields, Valley Forge, Independence Hall, beautiful canal paths and urban greenways.

During the pandemic, virtual tours were necessary for all of us going through pangs of tourism desires and it’s a great way to explore the path initially. But, like all things, you can’t beat the experience in person. Whether it takes six months, a year or more, you can commit to walking, running and/or biking all 1,300 miles. There’s even a tracker you can get to inform you of your location on the trail as well as the sights you will see. Commemorative swag is awarded as you reach each of the three memorial sites. Take your time, even if it's a long time, and complete it at your own pace. 

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This year, commemorate the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11 by joining in one of these events while experiencing the trail and showing support.

For more information:

 visit the website 911Trail.org

Tour de Trail: Berlin to Flight 93

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For 2020, in response to safety concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the second annual bike ride through the beautiful Laurel Highlands region of Pennsylvania, including a loop through the grounds of the Flight 93 National Memorial, is going virtual. All registrants will receive a Tour de Trail t-shirt, map of the route and link to video footage of the route. Participants can ride the route themselves, at a convenient day and time, or bike the 24 miles closer to home. Event proceeds support the continuing development of the September 11th National Memorial Trail as well as communities in the Laurel Highlands region that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

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