National Park Service Unveils New Renderings of Memorial

Friday, June 10, 2011National Park Foundation

Shanksville, PA – The National Park Service (NPS) today unveiled two architectural renderings with new design details of the first phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial, including how the names of the 40 passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93 will be displayed, and a depiction of a memorial gateway for visitors. The memorial – a portion of which is already under construction – is located near Shanksville, PA.

The renderings were provided by Flight 93 National Memorial architect Paul Murdoch of Paul Murdoch Architects. A generous grant from the Frank J. and Sylvia T. Pasquerilla Foundation to the National Park Foundation funded the cost of the renderings.

The first rendering shows a pair of white marble walls that frame a ceremonial gateway, which provides a solemn entrance along the flight path into the crash site, or Sacred Ground. Only the relatives of the 40 men and women aboard Flight 93 will be allowed to enter the Sacred Ground. Forty vertical marble slabs are arranged in a gentle, accordion folded row along one side of the flight path walkway. Each vertical slab is engraved with the name of one of the 40 people who lost their lives in a fight with terrorists for control of their plane on September 11, 2001. The walls and walkway are part of a Memorial Plaza that overlooks the Sacred Ground that is the plane’s crash site and final resting place of the passengers and crew.

Crowd gathers at flight 93 memorial

Wall of Names and Memorial Plaza

The second rendering shows the memorial gateway, an elegant, open air, cast concrete structure. A smaller, glass enclosure will afford additional shelter from inclement weather.

Couple walks under memorial gateway

Memorial Gateway

Both the wall and the shelter will be located on the periphery of the Memorial Plaza that is part of the memorial’s first phase. The dedication of the first phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial will be on September 10, 2011.

Additional private funding is still needed to complete the remaining elements of the Flight 93 National Memorial. Those elements include a curving arc of 40 Memorial Groves of trees along a walkway framing a Field of Honor, with a focus on the crash site, and the Entry Portal at the western end of the curving field where high walls will frame the sky and the plane’s flight path to the Sacred Ground. Other remaining elements include a Visitor Center adjacent to the Flight Path.

“Paul Murdoch and his team created a simple yet powerful tribute to our loved ones. The memorial design ensures that each person will be remembered as an individual, yet their placement on the wall links them together in history forever,” said Gordon Felt, President, Families of Flight 93. “With the release of these detailed renderings, the memorial is another step closer to reality.”

“The construction activity at the site and these renderings provide glimpses of the memorial to come. In September, when we dedicate the memorial’s first phase, visitors will enter a place of remembrance and reflection,” said Keith Newlin, NPS Superintendent, Western Pennsylvania National Parks.

“The Flight 93 National Memorial is the only major September 11 memorial that must still be completed after September of this year,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “These renderings show what is possible with strong private support for the memorial, but more funding is still needed to properly honor and educate future generations about the actions of the 40 men and women on board Flight 93.”

Paul Murdoch said, “It’s gratifying to see our design, expressed in these renderings, will soon be realized with completion of the first phase of construction. I hope once the public experiences the opening of the memorial, they will be further motivated to support the remaining features.”

Newlin noted that the rendering does not depict the actual placement of the names on the wall. The completed names on the wall will be shown first to the relatives of the 40 Flight 93 passengers and crew before they are revealed to the public on September 10, 2011.