Smoke and ash were all that was left of United Airlines Flight 93 in a field near Shanksville, Pa., after the 40 passengers and crew fought their attackers on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Within days, family members and mourners from around the world had begun arriving at the crash site in Western Pennsylvania.

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Unlike the other sites of the 911 attacks, in New York City and near Washington, there is nothing to see in Shanksville. The site is an empty field where the wind blows constantly and the sky dominates the senses.

Nonetheless, eight years later, more than 130,000 visitors are drawn to the site each year.

In November, ground was broken for the Flight 93 National Memorial, which will officially open in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

To see a gallery of photos over the years from Shanksville, go to http://go.philly.com/flight93.