Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day Special - Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County, PA

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


September 11, 2001.  Four commercial airliners were hijacked by al Qaeda terrorists and used as weapons.   Two impact the World Trade Center towers in NY, a third strikes the Pentagon building and a fourth crashes into an empty field in Somerset County in rural Pennsylvania.

United Flight 93 leaving from New Jersey got a late start that day and left 25 minutes later than expected for its San Francisco destination.  The hijackers did not get control of the plane until it was over Ohio.  Gaining control of the cockpit, they turn the plane around and have its trajectory pointed toward Washington DC and the suspected target, the Capitol building.

Passengers and crew get word of the other terrorist attacks and decide to make an attempt to take the plane back.  At 10:03am, the plane crashes, short of its target by 18 minutes flight time.


Coming back from visiting family in Pennsylvania, traveling along Interstate 76, we see a sign, Flight 93 Memorial next exit.   It just so happens that this is Memorial Day weekend.  We must go.  We will go.

I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing on that day.

Nothing will prepare you for visiting this memorial.

Outside you see the large, white monolithic walls of the Visitor's Center.   To the right, there is a black walkway.  This walkway represents the flight path United 93 took.

Walkway to main entrance

markers that show the flight and time of each plane involved

the back path shows the flight path of United 93

You walk the pathway, which has the timeline of all the planes, through the white walls in front of you.  Looking straight ahead is an overlook that has a view of the field and a large rock in the distance that denotes the crash and debris location.

overlook of the field and the tree line in the distance is where the stone marker resides
If you look back to your left from the main path, you'll find the entrance to the Visitor's Center.

Walking in, the lighting is low and items are highlighted with spotlights.

The mood is somber and you can physically feel the sadness.  We did not expect to, nor were we prepared for just how hard this would be.

The memorial is sectioned off, with time lines, news replays and recordings of passengers calling loved ones.

After seeing all this and hearing them again, all the emotions come flooding back.  From that day, for those that saw something wrong and tried to make it right.  We will never know the total number of lives that the 33 passengers and 7 crew members saved that day when they attempted to take the plane back from the terrorists.

I tried to hold my emotions back, but just couldn't.  Many couldn't.

The section above shows a wall of portraits of the passengers and crew from United Flight 93.

Captain Jason Dahl
First Officer Leroy Homer

Flight Attendants
Lorraine Bay
Sandy Bradshaw
Wanda Green
CeeCee Lyles
Deborah Welsh

Christian Adams
Todd Beamer
Alan Beaven
Mark Bingham
Deora Bodley
Marion Britton
Thomas Burnett, Jr.
William Cashman
Georgine Corrigan
Patricia Cushing
Joseph Deluca
Edward Felt
Jane Folger
Colleen Fraser
Andrew Garcia
Jeremy Glick
Kristin Gould
Lauren Grandcolas + Unborn Child
Donald Greene
Linda Gronlund
Richard Guadagno
Toshiya Kuge
Hilda Marcin
Waleska Martinez
Nicole Miller
Louis Nacke II
Donald Peterson
Jean Peterson
Mark Rothenberg
Christine Snyder
John Talignani
Honor Wainio

Toward the exit of the park, there is the Tower of Voices.

This tower is 93 feet high and when all the chimes are completed, 40 will sing in unison when the wind blows.

Memorial Day is a holiday where we honor those who gave all to protect the freedoms of this country and those that willingly put their lives in harms way to protect others from threats.  Believe me when we say that we honor those brave souls that gave the ultimate sacrifice.   Sometimes, though, ordinary people are thrust into an extraordinary situation.  United Flight 93 had something the other planes didn't have - knowledge of what had preceded them.

With this knowledge, those 40 had a tough decision thrust upon them.  They chose to put themselves in harms way to try and take back control of the plane and save hundreds, if not potentially thousands, of lives.

In my mind, they are all American heroes and will be in our thoughts and prayers along with the brave soldiers on this and every subsequent Memorial Day.

At Visual Ohio, our purpose is to showcase interesting people, places and things in our great state.  However, there are some things that transcend state lines and we think this article is one of those.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Piano Peddler and Conga Drummer at Clintonville Farmers Market

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


The Clintonville Farmers Market features everything from composting, fresh dairy, meats, herbs and produce to live music.

Held Saturday's on High Street right by the Donatos Pizza and Karen Wickliff Books.


When most people think farmer's market, they invision having booth after booth of farm fresh produce.  That is true of this market as well, but along with the farm fresh products there is also live entertainment.   It usually switches up every week and on May 11, the Piano Peddler and a Conga Drummer lent their talents for all at the market area.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Rock Climbing at Scioto Audubon Metro Park

Written/Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


From the Columbus Metro Parks Website:

The three towers and two arches of the main climbing wall reach a height of 35 feet and extend over 6,100 square feet. The wall features bouldering, top rope and lead climbing. There are four auto belays, but climbers must bring their own climbing harness. Climbers must be age 13 or older (ages 13 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult). There is no age restriction for bouldering on the 10-foot boulders. Small 10-foot boulders are available for kids to climb.


If you've followed VisualOhio for any time at all, you know that we love all things outdoors.  We here are avid hikers and hit the numerous trails scattered all over Ohio.   There is an annual Arnold Sports Festival coverage and anytime we can cover sports, we jump at the chance.

For those that are looking for the ability to climb'd need to travel to Appalachia for that or perhaps look to find some kind of rock climbing wall at a facility or event.

What you may not have known is that the Columbus Metro Parks has a dedicated, permanent rock climbing structure at the Scioto Audubon facility.  Found in a lower area directly nature center and just past the pond area.   If you do not want to park and walk there from the main parking lot, there is an access road to a parking lot right next to the sand lot volleyball courts.

When the weather is good, there are usually a good number of people there taking advantage of the rock climbing area.

There are even people there to help you and guide you through the process.

As a sport, rock climbing takes into account everything - endurance, stamina, cardiovascular, strength training.   If you are just starting out, there are shorter sections and arches for you.

If you are more advanced or ready to step up your game, there are higher section that go up to 35 feet.
If rock climbing is not something for you, just watching is great fun.   You can watch from ground level on all sides or for a more eye level view, take the steps of the water tower to the top and you get a good view over the trees.  That is where the majority of the images in this article were taken.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Arnold Sports Festival 2019 - Futsal

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Futsal is similar to soccer in play.  It uses a hard court on a smaller field and the teams are 5 players per side.  The ball is smaller and has less bounce than a standard soccer ball.   This makes play faster paced and stresses more passing and individual technique over longer kicks.

Many resources exist on the internet that go into more detail of the exact rules of the game.  If you understand soccer, you'll understand this game with little issues.


Being a big soccer fan, going into the sport was a bit of a thrill sight unseen.  My only previous knowledge of it was from some Youtube videos and rules websites.

Due to the smaller size of the pitch and fewer players, action is amped up significantly in comparison to futsals bigger brothers.

There were many different age groups at the Arnold, but regardless of age, The same high energy play was found.

Many skill levels were present with some standouts in both strikers and goalies.  In the Ohio State Fairgrounds facility that the matches were played, there were 3 simultaneous games going on during our coverage.

Definitely give your local futsal clubs some support and watch these matches.  Great fun, plenty of action.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spring Has Sprung At Slate Run Historical Farm

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


The Slate Run Historical Farm is a Columbus Metro Parks facility.  This living historical farm plants crops, and tends to livestock with the techniques from the late 1800's.  This gives people of all ages the opportunity to see what life on a farm was like in that time period.  This immersive experience really makes things come alive.


Spring has sprung here at Slate Run Farm and the animals and visitors are out in force.

We arrived on a Saturday morning in early April.  The parking lot was full, and people needed to park in the overflow parking area.  Nice you enter the farm property, you can see that the fields have been cleared of their winter grasses and are being prepared for the spring planting.

Above, 2 volunteers, dressed in period appropriate clothing are planting spring vegetables in the house garden.  The use a hand held tilling machine to turn the ground and create a trough to put the seeds.  They then place the seeds into the ditch and cover them by hand.

Other volunteers in the renovated farm house use spinning wheels to take freshly shaved sheep's wool into thread and yarn.

If you have any questions about the home, property or the activities of the day, this fine lady will answer them!  She was taking a break inside after tending to the garden.

Ever have an opportunity to pet a lamb?   Maybe, but how about a 2 day old lamb?  Volunteers provided this opportunity to visitors on this fine spring day.

Today, electric clippers are used to shear sheep.  Back in 1890?  They had shears, but not the electric kind.  The ones used here are man powered, hand cranked.

It takes quite a bit of muscle to move the sheep around into position for shearing.  The sheep were rather docile for the majority of the process.

We often do a few stories on Slate Run Farm, and for good reason.  There is always something to be done on a farm, no matter if it is modern or historical, so you'll not likely be disappointed or bored on any visit.

Once the fields have matured, there is harvesting activities in the fields and threshing.  The animals always need tending too. 

Make sure to check out the Metro Parks website link above for visiting hours and dates of specific events.