Flight 93 Memorial Task Force disbands
As a task force that worked to establish a memorial in honor of the heroes of United Airlines Flight 93 disbanded Saturday in Somerset, people attending its last meeting lauded the group as a shining example of democracy in action.
"When the history of the (Flight 93) memorial is written ... the work of the task force will be seen as pivotal. Not just for this site, but for the National Park Service," Brent D. Glass, a member of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission, told more than 40 people who met at the Somerset County Courthouse for the formal end of the Flight 93 Memorial Task Force.
The group formed eight years ago to create a memorial to honor the passengers and crew of the flight that was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when hijackers took control Sept. 11, 2001. Passengers wrested control from the terrorists and are credited with preventing still another attack on a government building in the Washington area.
The task force's leaders last month agreed to dissolve the group now that the $58 million memorial is under construction near Shanksville and is scheduled to be completed on Sept. 11, 2011.
Glass, a former executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, said the task force was carrying on the true spirit of democracy as a voluntary association with no links to government. French historian Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about those volunteer organizations in his "Democracy in America," after visiting America in 1831, Glass said.
The effort was "a labor of love that I never wanted to do," said Patrick White of Naples, Fla., co-chairman of the task force. His cousin, Louis J. Nacke II, died in the crash. Nacke was from New Hope in Bucks County, and previously lived in Monroeville.
The group conducted fundraising, was involved in design and construction of the memorial, interpretation of the site and land acquisition. Its final act was completing the purchase Friday of 150 acres contiguous to the memorial site, just east of the area where the plane crashed, said White, a land-use lawyer in Florida.
The temporary memorial management, archiving items regarding Flight 93 and organizing volunteers, which had been handled by the task force, will become functions of the National Park Service, said John Reynolds, chairman of the Flight 93 Advisory Commission.
Rather than going off into the "sunset" or being "buried," the task force is evolving and can remain committed to the Flight 93 Memorial in a different fashion, said Calvin Wilson of Herndon, Va., a commission member. Wilson's brother-in-law, Leroy Homer Jr., was the co-pilot on Flight 93.
"We appreciate what you have done and we don't want to lose you. We're giving you a new name and a new task," said Wilson, noting that task force members can become involved in the Friends of the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Speaking of the community's support for the national memorial, Reynolds, a National Park Service retiree whose career spanned 40 years, said, "I know of no other place in the history of the National Park Service that has stayed together and evolved together."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers finalize 53-man roster
- Rams cut Sam, 1st openly gay player drafted in NFL
- Pitt cruises past Delaware in season opener
- Fall preview: Neil Patrick Harris among coming autobiographers
- New heart drug gets top marks in study; cardiologist calls it significant breakthrough
- Decorating touches help retreats sparkle
- McConnell aide quits as scandal brews over 2012 presidential campaign
- Squashing stereotypes has women learning carpentry
- California governor appeals ruling that struck down schoolteacher tenure
- Former Steelers linebacker Harrison retires
- Man sentenced for killing girlfriend after crash