Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will travel to Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to help break ground on the memorial's new visitor center complex.
The groundbreaking, which is to include members of the Families of Flight 93 and Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent Jeff Reinbold, ushers in construction of a 6,800-square-foot visitor center that will more fully tell the story of Flight 93. The complex also will contain a learning center, parking area, and related features. The visitor center is expected to open in September 2015.
On Wednesday, Secretary Jewell will participate in the annual observance of the 9/11 attacks in which 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 thwarted a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. At 10:03 a.m. – the moment Flight 93 crashed – the names of the passengers and crew members will be read and Bells of Remembrance will be rung in their memory. The ceremony will include a wreath laying at the Wall of Names.
In other news pertaining to the national memorial, the National Park Foundation on Monday announced that its capital fundraising campaign for the memorial is complete. The Flight 93 National Memorial Capital Campaign raised more than $40 million to establish, design, and build the national memorial honoring the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who fought back against their hijackers on September 11, 2001.
“Like all of America’s national parks, the Flight 93 National Memorial honors and preserves our country’s rich history,” said Neil Mulholland, the Foundation's president and CEO. “As the charitable partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation has been proud to lead the private fundraising efforts to establish and build the Memorial, ensuring its place in American history. We thank and applaud the thousands of individuals and organizations that have helped us reach this profound moment. It is only through their support and generosity that the Foundation is able to protect, enrich and honor the Flight 93 National Memorial, and all of our country’s more than 400 national parks.”
More than 110,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations contributed to the fundraising 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.
“The generous contributions of so many individuals and business from around the world, along with the hard work and coordination of our friends at the National Park Foundation, ensure the long-term success of Flight 93 National Memorial,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The National Park Service and our partner organizations will work together to preserve forever the memory of the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 and inspire future generations with the story of their sacrifice.”
While the National Park Foundation’s 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. Through a grant from the National Park Foundation, the Friends have hired full-time Executive Director, Norwood R. Dennis.