WASHINGTON – Since 2005, Somerset Trust Company has provided needed support to Flight 93 National Memorial through the National Park Foundation. This year, as the company celebrates its 125th anniversary, Somerset Trust Company signed on as presenting sponsor for Plant a Tree at Flight 93. On April 25-26 the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial are continuing a major reforestation effort that will eventually result in 150,000 new trees at Flight 93 National Memorial, which commemorates the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 and remembers all those lost on September 11, 2001.
“Thanks to generous partners like Somerset Trust Company, we are able to make an invaluable and lasting impact through the work of the Foundation to help ensure that the heroes of Flight 93 will never be forgotten,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “It is these enduring partnerships, built through shared purpose and mission, that serve as a powerful model of what private support can do for our nation’s sacred places. We are grateful for Somerset Trust Company’s continued support.”
One of the oldest banks in Pennsylvania, Somerset Trust Company has been part of the Flight 93 story since 2001 when the bank held funds in anticipation of the creation of a memorial. In addition, the bank's sixth-generation family owner, Henry Cook served as a Stage II jurist selecting the winning design for the memorial and he also served as a member of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission.
“Few events have impacted Somerset County as much as the events of September 11, 2001, and the establishment of Flight 93 National Memorial,” said Henry Cook, President and CEO of Somerset Trust Company. “The reforestation effort will provide a lasting tribute to the heroes of Flight 93 as well as enhance the beauty of the national memorial site. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of this event, particularly during our 125th year of serving the people of Somerset County.”
The tree-planting events will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 25-26. Flight 93 National Memorial will still be open to the public during regular visiting hours (9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with last entry at 6:30 p.m.) on the days of the tree-planting effort.
The previous two years’ reforestation efforts consisted of hundreds of volunteers planting nearly 28,000 seedlings. This year, a team of more than 400 volunteers under the guidance of tree-planting experts will have the special opportunity to continue this effort and plant an additional 20,000 seedlings over 30 acres at the memorial. These trees, which are a mixture of several native species, will form an essential windbreak to protect trees planted in nearby memorial groves and create a living memorial to remember the 40 men and women of Flight 93.
Many sponsors have joined with the National Park Foundation to make this effort possible including Alcoa Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation, Ed and Lin Snider, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Roy A. Hunt Foundation, and The UPS Foundation.
Additional National Park Service partners include the American Chestnut Foundation; Appalachian Regional Commission; Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative; Bittner Vending; Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service; Department of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Green Forests Work; Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Penn State University; Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation; Pittsburgh CPR LLC; Rosebud Mining Company; Starbucks, Somerset.
In addition to Flight 93 National Memorial, other parks in Western Pennsylvania will also be hosting their own National Park Week events. For a full listing of all National Park Week events in Pennsylvania and across the country, go to www.nationalparkweek.org.
For more information about how to support Flight 93 National Memorial, visit www.nps.gov/flni.
ABOUT FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL
On September 24, 2002, President Bush signed into law 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 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed with the loss of its 40 passengers and crew. For information on how to make a donation and help build 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 and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.