Somerset County: the proverbial Mayberry of southwestern Pennsylvania; a picture perfect small town portrayed in wholesome television programs of the 1950s; where life is viewed through a window of family-owned hardware stores, fruit markets, and old-fashioned barbershops. Where a deal is made with a strong handshake and those on the street know more about your family than you do yourself. Life embodies a quiet pleasant innocence derived from an unknown town in Anywhere, America…that is until September 11, 2001 when United Flight 93 crashed in its backyard and launched Somerset County onto a national platform.
This year, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a memorial will be dedicated in what is now a National Park. What lasting effects does a national event have on empathetic individuals living in a small town? How do those who have lived in anonymity for their entire lives deal with media attention? Does the constant presence of a tragedy in daily life perpetuate grief indefinitely? Put simply, what happens when your town is known for a tragedy.