2008-11-06 / Local & State

Officials Acquire More Land For Flight 93 Memorial

SOMERSET, Pa. (AP) - The National Park Service has acquired 57 additional acres for the Flight 93 National Memorial in rural western Pennsylvania, and joined the Flight 93 Task Force in agreeing to the development of a nonprofit friends group.

The developments were announced Saturday at a Flight 93 Advisory Commission and Task Force meeting.

The newly acquired land will surround the memorial and the site where Flight 93 went down on Sept. 11, 2001. Eventually, a house will be built on the land for a ranger who will provide security.

"Every time we purchase a piece of property for the national memorial, it brings us one step closer to completion of the park by the 10th anniversary," said Joanne Hanley, National Park Service Flight 93 superintendent.

The groups also discussed forming a nonprofit group that would have a board of directors and be in charge of making sure that the memorial's integrity and memory are sustained once it is built.

An agreement letter outlining the goals was signed and is to be sent to the district office of the NPS.

"This is something long-term that we want to keep going," said Jeffrey Reinbold, project manager with the NPS.

The "Friends Group" is to include members of the private and public sectors. To date, officials have raised $13.5 million toward the goal of $30 million for the memorial.

The design and development of the memorial is to be completed by January. Construction bids are to go out in September.

"We need everybody's help to stay on schedule," Hanley said. "We need boots on the ground, boots in the Department of the Interior, and boots in the White House."

Flight 93 was the fourth plane to crash on Sept. 11. Investigators believe passengers rushed the cockpit and forced the hijackers to crash into the field, preventing the hijackers them from reaching their initial target, believed to be in Washington, D.C.

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