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Contact: Keith Newlin, National Park Service, (814) 886-6121
Contact: Michael Frazier, National September 11 Memorial & Museum, (212) 312-8808
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Gift of Remembrance from Memorial to Memorial
New York's National September 11 Memorial & Museum Donates 40 Sweet Gum Trees
to the Flight 93 National Memorial
Shanksville, PA. - The National Park Service (NPS) today announced the arrival of 40 sweet gum trees donated by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center site (9/11 Memorial) to the Flight 93 National Memorial. Three of the trees will be planted during a formal ceremony on Saturday, July 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET at the memorial site near Shanksville, PA.
The ceremonial planting of the sweet gum trees will take place near the memorial's new visitor shelter and memorial walk. The remaining 37 trees will be planted between the memorial's wall of names and the western overlook during the next several weeks.
The first phase of the memorial is currently under construction and will be dedicated on September 10, 2011.
"Trees are key elements of the memorial's design, symbols of hope that will provide a welcoming experience to our visitors," said Keith Newlin, Superintendent, National Parks of Western Pennsylvania. "The people of New York, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and its president, Joseph Daniels, have made a wonderful contribution to the Flight 93 National Memorial. These 40 sweet gums represent the everlasting ties of history between our two memorial sites."
The planting of the sweet gum trees is the first installment of a much larger plan to plant more than 100,000 trees, part of a reforestation of the reclaimed mine at the memorial site. The plan includes the creation of 40 Memorial Groves comprising 40 trees each that will encircle the Field of Honor. Additional private funding is needed to ensure the proper care of these trees as living memorials to the heroes of Flight 93.More information about this important aspect of the memorial design is available at www.honorflight93.org .
The sweet gum trees were a gift to the 9/11 Memorialfrom the State of Maryland in 2006. The trees were grown in Maryland nurseries and purchased through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service Living Memorial program. Due to a landscape design change at theNational September 11 Memorial and Museum, the sweet gums were not planted but continued to be cared for by the New York memorial at a nursery in Millstone Township, NJ. The 9/11 Memorial donated the trees to the Flight 93 National Memorial to commemorate the lives of the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93 who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 while resisting a terrorist attack on board their plane.
"It is an honor to pass on this gift that will serve as living memories of 40 American heroes," said 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels. "The same trees are taking root at the Memorial at the World Trade Center site in honor of the heroism displayed on 9/11 both in and outside of New York state."
Each sweet gum tree is approximately 30-plus feet high and weighs approximately 20,000 pounds. To make the 300-mile journey from New Jersey to the Flight 93 National Memorial, the sweet gums were transported on specialized flatbed trailers. The trees are being transported, replanted, and cared for by Environmental Tree and Design, Inc. of Tomball, Texas.
David Beamer, a board member of the 9/11 Memorial whose son, Todd Beamer, died with the other passengers on Flight 93 said, "These trees, living and growing will show the inexorable link between Ground Zero and Shanksville. They will be a lasting and living testimony that the 40 of Flight 93 are remembered by New York."
Gordon Felt, President, Families of Flight 93 said, "These magnificent trees will stand in memory of the 40 heroes who took action against the terrorists on board United Flight 93 when they learned about the horror unfolding at the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon. We are deeply grateful to the leadership of National September 11 Memorial & Museum and know the trees' presence at the Flight 93 National Memorial will be a comfort to the family members of those who died on board Flight 93 and all those who visit the memorial."
ABOUT THE FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL
On September 24, 2002, President Bush signed into law the Flight 93 National Memorial Act. The Act created a new national park unit to commemorate the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who, on September 11, 2001, courageously gave their lives thereby thwarting a planned attack on our nation's capital. The memorial is outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed with the loss of its 40 passengers and crew.For more information about the Flight 93 National Memorial, please visit www.nps.gov/flni. For information on how to support the building of the memorial, go to www.honorflight93.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is the not-for-profit corporation created to oversee the design, raise the funds, and program and operate the Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site. The Memorial and Museum will be located on eight of the 16 acres of the site. The Memorial will be dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and will open to the public the following day. The Museum will open in 2012.
The Memorial will remember and honor the nearly 3,000 people who died in the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The design, created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker, consists of two pools formed in the footprints of the original Twin Towers and a plaza of trees.
The Museum will display monumental artifacts linked to the events of 9/11, while presenting intimate stories of loss, compassion, reckoning and recovery that are central to telling the story of the 2001 attacks and the aftermath. It will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individual lives, as well as on local, national, and international communities; and explore the continuing significance of these events for our global community.
When the Memorial opens, construction will continue on the other World Trade Center projects and free visitor passes will be temporarily required. To plan a visit to the Memorial or learn how to contribute, go to 911memorial.org.
Follow the Memorial & Museum on Twitter: @sept11memorial.