The Families are especially grateful to Governor Ed Rendell for his support and commitment to this project, as well as DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty, whose agency has provided such invaluable assistance through the complex negotiations that cleared the way to make possible this key acquisition
Somerset, PA (PRWEB) March 19, 2008
The Families of Flight 93 has entered into a formal contract with PBS Coals, Inc. for purchase of approximately 932 acres representing the largest single land tract, approximately 75 per cent of the area, designated for the permanent Flight 93 National Memorial. Formal closing of the transaction is expected within 60 days. The acreage includes approximately 27 acres of land that are being donated by PBS to the Families.
PBS' sale to the Families' organization follows an agreement reached between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection and PBS Coals that provides for permanent treatment of mine water from a sediment pond on a now reclaimed surface mine.
Proceeds from the sale will be placed in a trust fund to operate and maintain the mine water treatment system in perpetuity through a local entity to be organized by The Families of Flight 93, PBS Coals, local citizen groups and the National Park Service, according to the terms of the DEP agreement.
The National Park Service is expected to purchase the PBS acreage from the Families of Flight 93 as part of a continuing series of acquisitions by the Families of land parcels designated for the Memorial. First of these purchase agreements occurred last December when the Families approved acceptance of an offer by the Park Service to buy a three-acre tract the Families acquired in 2006. The Families of Flight 93 presently own two other land parcels, one approximately 55 acres and another less than one acre.
"This is clearly an historic moment in the development of the permanent Flight 93 National Memorial, and it signifies substantial progress toward the Families' unqualified commitment to the Memorial's formal dedication by the tenth anniversary of September 11th," said Patrick White, vice president of the Families of Flight 93. "PBS's role in getting to this day can not be overlooked, and we are most appreciative that they have worked with us as a willing seller to get to this positive result with the state."
"The Families are especially grateful to Governor Ed Rendell for his support and commitment to this project, as well as DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty, whose agency has provided such invaluable assistance through the complex negotiations that cleared the way to make possible this key acquisition," White added.
When dedicated, the Flight 93 National Memorial will encompass 2,200 acres, of which just over 900 acres will comprise a perimeter of 'view shed' easements that will protect the Memorial from incompatible development around the new national park.
"The National Park Service is delighted with this news of the sale of more than 900 acres to the Families. This is certainly one very big step - in a step by step process - towards creation of a permanent memorial to honor the selfless heroism and courage of those 40 individuals," said Joanne Hanley, Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent.
White said the Families organization continues active negotiations with willing sellers of the remaining parcels designated for the permanent Memorial.
"This is a great day for thousands of donors, friends, and partners who want to see the heroes of Flight 93 honored by a permanent national memorial. Acquiring this tract of land brings us one step closer to realizing the thoughtful design for the Memorial and national park as a place of healing and transformation," said Chris Sullivan, Flight 93 National Memorial Capital Campaign Chairman.
Sullivan added that he is counting on this sign of progress to remind all Americans of the bravery and sacrifice of the forty passengers and crewmembers and of the ongoing need to support the campaign to build the Memorial.
The permanent Flight 93 National Memorial will serve to honor the heroism, courage and enduring sacrifice of the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93. It will tell the story of the extraordinary acts of the 40 passengers and crew, and will be a place for individuals to learn about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and find meaning and inspiration in their experience. The final design selection for the permanent National Memorial was announced on Sept. 7, 2005, in Washington, D.C., and can be viewed at http://www.honorflight93.org
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 Sept. 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 heroic forty passengers and crew. The Flight 93 National Memorial project made history as the first national park designed entirely through an open, public design competition. The year-long, international competition received more than 1,000 submissions created by professionals and members of the general public.
A diverse jury comprised of family members, community representatives, and design professionals chose the winning design because it most completely exemplifies the mission of the memorial: "A common field one day - A field of honor forever." The final design for the Flight 93 National Memorial was created by Paul Murdoch Architects of Los Angeles and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.
The winning design was announced on Sept. 7, 2005,.in Washington, D.C. More information about the design and ways the public can contribute to the Flight 93 National Memorial can be viewed online at http://www.honorflight93.org. When completed, the National Park Service will continue as the steward of the Flight 93 National Memorial. A dedication of the permanent Memorial is planned for September 11th, 2011.