September 11, 2013

A Field of Honor: Remembering Flight 93

by Alanna Sobel from National Park Foundation

Wall of Names at Flight 93 National Memorial

Today, the nation pauses to reflect on the events of September 11, 2001.  For the National Park System, the focus turns to Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA.  The Flight 93 National Memorial is a permanent memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. Their heroic actions ultimately caused their hijacked plane to crash before reaching its intended target of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

As we observe the twelfth anniversary of September 11, the National Park Foundation announced that, through the commitment of the Flight 93 Partners and the support of over 110,000 individuals, foundations and corporations, the $40 million in private funds needed for the establishment, design and construction of the memorial has been raised.

The campaign funds have made possible the construction of the park’s Memorial Plaza, Wall of Names, 40 Memorial Groves, the Field of Honor, and major reforestation of the landscape.  Additional construction through 2015 will include a Visitor Center Complex consisting of a permanent artifact exhibition, Learning Center and Flight Path/Memorial Walls.

While the National Park Foundation’s national capital campaign is complete, the Foundation has also helped to establish a local philanthropic organization, the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, which will continue to fundraise on behalf of the national memorial.  The Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, like the hundreds of other local philanthropic park Friends Groups across the country, will provide support for the operational needs and programmatic opportunities of the memorial.

As we reflect on the tragic events of that day, we can be proud of the steps we have taken together to preserve this chapter of the American story.  Through Flight 93 National Memorial and the other 400 national parks, we are able to pass along our rich history to future generations.

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