Congress Approves Funding
CONGRESS APPROVES NEARLY $5.5 MILLION FOR FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL
FUNDING FOR ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE IS ANOTHER SIGN OF PROGRESS
The Families of Flight 93, the Flight 93 Advisory Commission and the Flight 93 Memorial Task Force hailed the news that Congress, with the leadership of Pennsylvania delegation members Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Bob Casey, Representative Bill Shuster and Representative Jack Murtha, as well as the support of Congressional Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Representative Norm Dicks and Senator Diane Feinstein, Congressional Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Representative John Olver and Senator Patty Murray, and the Ranking Member of the Senate Transportation Appropriation Subcommittee Senator Kit Bond, approved $5,475,000 for the permanent Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA. A total of $4,275,000 is included as part of the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY’09) appropriations for the Department of Transportation. Another $1,200,000 is included in the FY’09 appropriations for the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service. These funds will be used to create a visitors center as well as road construction and other vital infrastructure necessary for the permanent National Memorial. The President is expected to sign the legislation.
"We are extremely grateful to Senators Specter, Casey, Feinstein, Murray and Bond as well as Representatives Shuster, Murtha, Dicks and Olver for their efforts in obtaining these greatly needed funds. Together with the breakthrough in land acquisition, as well as our continuing effort to raise private contributions, we are showing real progress to meeting our commitment to dedicate the permanent National Memorial on September 11, 2011," said John J. Reynolds, chairman of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission.
"The tremendous work of the Pennsylvania delegation – Senators Specter and Casey and Congressmen Shuster and Murtha – as well as Representatives Dicks and Olver, and Senators Feinstein, Murray and Bond have enabled us to celebrate this important milestone. We are deeply appreciative of their leadership and we look forward to continuing our work together towards the dedication of the permanent National Memorial to our heroes on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001," said Gordon W. Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93.
"The National Memorial continues to make giant strides toward the construction of a permanent, fitting tribute to the heroes of Flight 93. We are truly grateful for the strong bipartisan and bicameral support shown to the memorial," said Patrick White, co-chair of Flight 93 Memorial Task Force.
The funding news is the latest in a series of significant announcements in 2009 for the memorial. On January 16, an agreement was reached among the National Park Service, the Families of Flight 93, and Svonavec, Inc. that will lead to the transfer of the more than 275 acres, which comprise much of the actual crash site. Over 82 percent of the area designated for the Memorial has been secured.
On February 20, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, acting National Park director Dan Wenk, Patrick White, John Reynolds, and Flight 93 Memorial Task Force co-chair Jerry Spangler signed a letter of commitment that lays down a series of ambitious milestones to ensure that the National Memorial is dedicated by September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the sacrifice of the heroes of Flight 93.
The total cost of the memorial is estimated at $58.3 million. Since 2005, more than 44,000 donors – both large and small from across the nation and the world – have raised over $11 million for the memorial, a significant downpayment on the private goal of $30 million. Another $10 million has been pledged by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the balance expected to come from the federal government.
About the Flight 93 Memorial
Did You Know?
In past September 11 ceremonies, first responders, community leaders and recovery workers have participated by ringing the "Bells of Remembrance." The bells ring during the time of the crash, 10:03 AM, while the names of Flight 93 crew and passengers are read aloud.