Washington, D.C. (August 8, 2010)- Mrs. Laura W. Bush will serve as the keynote speaker at a ceremony on September 11, 2010 to honor the 40 heroes of United Flight 93. While fighting to resist a terrorist attack on the nation's capital, the passengers and crewmembers lost their lives when their plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA on September 11, 2001. The ceremony will be held at the Western Overlook at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
"I am proud to be a part of the ceremony and public gathering in Shanksville on September 11 to commemorate the courageous acts of those on board Flight 93," said Mrs. Bush. "We must never forget the brave sacrifice of these extraordinary men and women."
"As the former First Lady and former honorary chair of the National Park Foundation, Mrs. Bush has shown a deep personal commitment to America's national parks and in particular to the Flight 93 National Memorial," said Neil J. Mulholland, president and CEO, National Park Foundation. "In welcoming her to Shanksville, we are reminded how important this place is to Americans, and people around the world, as we honor all of those lost on September 11."
"Mrs. Bush was with us shortly after the attacks of September 11. In the midst of our shock and grief, she shared with us her calming presence and genuine compassion. We will always have a special place in our hearts for her," said Gordon Felt, president, Families of Flight 93.
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 Sept. 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 how to make a donation and help build the memorial, go to www.honorflight93.org.