Stepping Forward with the Class of 2016

Group of high schools students walking along a trail in the rain.  Most have umbrelas

Members of the Somerset County Class of 2016 walk the Allée with Secretary of the Interior Jewell, officially dedicating the new trails.

NPS/Brenda Schwartz

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
A Class Act
Also Promotes:
History Lesson
Year Accomplished:

On September 10, 2015, over 90 students representing the Somerset County Class of 2016 played an active role in the Dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial Visitor Center Complex. Together they not only dedicated a new visitor center, but opened a new chapter in the legacy of Flight 93. The visitor center will serve as a place to explore the past, present, and future of Flight 93, the memorial, and our national parks.

In addition to being special guests at the Visitor Center Dedication service, the Class of 2016 was given a very singular task;to dedicate and officially opening the over two miles of walking trails.After meeting with park rangers and joining in a dialogue on the legacy of September 11 and how we can make a difference in our communities, they stepped off on the inaugural walk down the Allée, the formal walking path through the Memorial Groves.Leading the students on the hike was a special guest, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel.Throughout the walk, the Secretary was able to visit with many of the students.

The year 2016 will be a major milestone for the Class of 2016 and also for the National Park Service as we celebrate our 100th birthday.To celebrate this centennial we are not only looking to the past, but to the future as well.We want to connect with the next generation of visitors, supporters, and advocates.

On the morning September 11, 2001, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 stepped forward to make a difference.The first responders and investigators were next to answer the call.In the years since, many people stepped forward to help develop and build this national memorial.We challenged the Class of 2016, to step forward with us into this next century.Park staff will continue to work with the Class of 2016 and together explore ways they can continue to connect with their National Parks