April 13, 2009
FAMILIES OF FLIGHT 93 ACCEPT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE OFFER
TRANSFERRING LARGEST PRIVATE LAND TRACT
TO FLIGHT 93 PERMANENT MEMORIAL IN SHANKSVILLE, PA.
In another sign of steady progress towards the September 11, 2011 dedication of the permanent Flight 93 National Memorial, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Families of Flight 93, Inc. have come to terms on a purchase deal for approximately 950 acres that make up the bulk of the former PBS Coals property. The result will be the largest single transfer of private land to the NPS for the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA.
This agreement concludes a process that began in March 2008 when the Families of Flight 93 entered into a formal contract with PBS Coals to purchase the property. The land is part of the memorial site where the 40 heroes of United Flight 93 changed the course of history while fighting to resist a terrorist attack on our nation’s capital, ultimately crashing in a field in Shanksville. The National Memorial will include a visitors center and is the only national park dedicated to the events of September 11, 2001.
"The parcel, which includes a pond where one of the plane’s engines was found, is critical to the story of the Flight 93 heroes. The National Park Service has been a tremendous partner in helping us fulfill our mission to create a fitting memorial to those 40 brave patriots who lost their lives fighting for freedom," said Patrick White, co-chair, Flight 93 Task Force and who negotiated on behalf of the Families of Flight 93 as its Vice President.
"The Families of Flight 93 continue to work with the NPS and all of our Memorial partners to do everything possible to accomplish the solemn promise we made to our loved ones," said Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93. "We are extremely grateful for the dedication of NPS staff in moving this project forward."
"With the National Park Service acquiring this largest single parcel to date, we continue to show constant progress towards our goal, the timely building of a magnificent permanent National Memorial that can tell the story of the 40 heroes of Flight 93. I thank the Families of Flight 93 for their tremendous dedication to seeing this dream realized," said Joanne Hanley, National Park Service superintendent, Flight 93 National Memorial.
The PBS Coals property being transferred is divided into two parcels located south of U.S. 30 also known as the Lincoln Highway. The first is approximately 27 acres near the actual impact site and includes the pond where one of the plane’s engines was found. The other is approximately 926 acres and includes the site of the temporary memorial on Skyline Drive in Shanksville.