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Contact: Joanne Hanley, 814.443.4557
(Somerset, Pennsylvania) – Last week the National Park Service (NPS) acquired 57 additional acres towards the establishment and development of the Flight 93 National Memorial. The Families of Flight 93 sold approximately 56 acres of the former O’Barto property on Skyline Road to the NPS, which will help to protect the viewshed and surrounding area to the south of the memorial and impact site. One additional acre was bought by the NPS from the Stutzman’s on Skyline Road, which includes a residence. The NPS plans to eventually have a ranger occupy the house for protection of the nearby Sacred Ground and future permanent memorial.
“Every time we purchase a piece of property for the national memorial, it brings us one step closer to completion,” said Joanne Hanley, Superintendent, National Parks of Western Pennsylvania. “We could not do this without the help of our partners, especially the Families of Flight 93. The Families have stepped in to purchase certain properties on our behalf, and have held them until such a time as the federal government can purchase them. We are grateful for their unending work on behalf of their loved ones and this memorial. We are also grateful to the many other landowners who are so willing to do what is right for this project and their country.”
The Vice President of the Families of Flight 93 and National Memorial Task Force Co-Chair Patrick White said, “the Families are most pleased with the National Park Service’s significant progress, as these acquisitions bode well for an on-time dedication of the memorial. We know the National Park Service’s hard work and dedication is what is required to add these properties to those like the former PBS lands we will transfer to NPS next year. With the funds from the sales to NPS, the Families will continue to work with other willing sellers seeking to join in honoring the 40 heroes of Flight 93. Congratulations and thank you.
John Reynolds, Chairman of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission said, "All of us involved with Flight 93 sincerely thank the Stutzman’s and the O'Barto's for working with the Families of Flight 93 and the National Park Service to accomplish this important step in the history of the National Memorial."
The NPS will actively and aggressively continue with its partners, land acquisition, fundraising and design engineering to ensure that the first phase of construction of the memorial will be ready by the tenth anniversary, September 11, 2011. To help with the development of the permanent memorial please visit www.honorflight93.org. You can also visit the NPS webpage at www.nps.gov/flni to learn more about the National Park Service and the Flight 93 National Memorial.