Washington, D.C. – The National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced today that First Lady Michelle Obama will join Mrs. Laura W. Bush as an additional keynote speaker at the September 11, 2010, ceremony being held at the future site of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. They will join other distinguished guests including Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. The ceremony will honor the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93, along with all of those lost on September 11th. United Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, after the 40 passengers and crew fought back against terrorists attempting to attack our nation’s capital. Fundraising is currently underway to complete the memorial which is under construction and set for dedication on September 11, 2011.
“We are deeply honored to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush and all of our guests to this important event,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO, National Park Foundation. “Their show of support honors the lives and memories of these 40 heroes and everyone we lost on September 11th, and serves as a valuable reminder of how important this memorial is to preserve and share their story.”
The ceremony will be held at the Western Overlook at the future site of Flight 93 National Memorial. In 2001, the Western Overlook was the location of the investigative command post for Flight 93 and was the point from which the families of the passengers and crew first observed the crash site. It was also where the media reported on the crash and provided the public with the first images from the crash scene. It is the site of the temporary memorial while the Flight 93 National Memorial is under construction.
More details about the ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.
About the Flight 93 National Memorial
On September 24, 2002, Congress passed 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 Park Foundation
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. Chartered by Congress, we work hand in hand with the National Park Service to strengthen and connect all Americans to our parks, so they are protected for present and future generations. It is a legacy that began more than a century ago, when private citizens took action to first establish, then protect and endow our national parks. Today, the National Park Foundation carries on that tradition as the only national charitable partner for America’s national parks. To learn more visit www.nationalparks.org.