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Flight 93 ship set to honor victims

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Sunday, May 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The group Families of Flight 93 continues efforts to commission a ship out of Philadelphia and have mementos of their loved ones who perished on the plane on the naval vessel, the group's president said on Saturday.

Gordon Felt, whose brother, Edward, was among the 40 passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, said the letter requesting the USS Somerset be commissioned out of Philadelphia was sent to the Secretary of the Navy.

He said he knows of no final decision being made on the commissioning.

“I believe it's going to be sometime next year, but that's as definitive as I can get,” Felt added during a conference call held as part of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission's quarterly meeting in Somerset.

Families of the 40 passengers and crews have been asked to contribute a quilt square and photographs of their loved ones to be displayed on the USS Somerset, Felt said. The squares will be formed into one quilt.

“The Navy's doing a great job of personalizing the ship,” Felt said.

The USS Somerset is the ninth and newest amphibious warfare ship in the San Antonio Class. The ship joins the USS New York and USS Arlington in remembering the 9/11 heroes.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Flight 93's passengers and crew gave their lives and thwarted a planned terrorist attack on the nation's capital. They stopped the attack by overtaking terrorists on the plane, which crashed near Shanksville.

In another matter from the meeting, nearly 600 volunteers and family members planted more than 15,900 tree seedlings during a reforestation program held four days in April, said Donna Glessner, vice chairwoman of the advisory committee.

Patrick White, whose cousin, Louis J. Nacke II, was on Flight 93 said he took part on the last day of planting, April 27.

“We felt a special connection and honor,” he added via a conference call.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622.

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