Today the nation pauses to reflect on the events of September 11, 2001. For the National Park System, the focus turns to Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA. The Flight 93 National Memorial is a permanent memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. Their heroic actions ultimately caused their hijacked plane to crash before reaching its intended target of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Like all of America’s national parks, the Flight 93 National Memorial honors and preserves our country’s rich history.
As we observe the twelfth anniversary of September 11 this week, the Foundation was proud to announce that, through the commitment of the Flight 93 partners and the support of over 110,000 individuals, foundations and corporations, the $40 million in private funds needed for the establishment, design and primary construction of the memorial has been raised.
While this benchmark concludes our national capital campaign, the work is not done. The Foundation has helped to establish a local philanthropic organization, the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, which will continue to fundraise and provide ongoing support to the Memorial, supplying critical help for the operational needs and programmatic opportunities. These organizations, often made up of volunteer staff passionate about supporting their community’s national park, are a vital lifeline of support for the National Park System.
This collective work is a testament to the commitment of the American people to protect our shared legacy. As we reflect on the tragic events of September 11, we can be proud of the steps we have taken to preserve yet another chapter of the American story. Today, the Flight 93 National Memorial stands alongside 400 national parks across the country – each with a vital story to tell. Together, we ensure these stories live on for generations and fulfill our resolute promise – we will never forget.
For more background on United Flight 93, please view this moving video which helped explain the need for a national memorial during the campaign.