Local CEO on Flight 93 panel
On Sept. 11, 2001, Dan Sullivan was in Memphis, Tenn., at a board meeting, when he heard of the first terrorist attack at the World Trade Center in New York.
Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Ground, said employees and volunteers worked around the clock for days afterward, doing their part to help keep the company and country moving in the days after the national tragedy that claimed nearly 3,000 lives.
Now, Sullivan is doing his part to ensure that United Flight 93 -- the hijacked plane that crashed in Somerset County after passengers rushed the cockpit where terrorists had taken over -- is remembered. Sullivan is the only representative from Allegheny County on the advisory commission to help the federal government design a memorial to Flight 93.
"I think it's going to be very meaningful, very honorable and very exciting," Sullivan said.
Sullivan got involved with memorializing Flight 93 around the first anniversary of Sept. 11. FedEx Ground donated money for the Somerset County ceremony and for the establishment of a permanent memorial.
In the weeks after the plane crash, an impromptu memorial sprang up. Last year, President Bush signed a bill establishing a federal commission to help the Interior Department develop a permanent memorial to Flight 93.
On the second anniversary of the attacks, 14 people were sworn in by Interior Secretary Gale Norton at the crash site to serve as the advisory commission. The group includes relatives of those on the plane, historians and local business leaders, including Sullivan.
Joanne Hanley, of the National Parks Service, said the commission will make recommendations about the design of the memorial, while a separate task force, which reports to the commission, handles operations. Hanley said the task force, formed by the Somerset County Commissioners and consisting mostly of families of the victims, takes recommendations from the general public or interested parties and makes recommendations to the commission.
The commission met for the first time last week. Sullivan said assignments haven't been made yet, but everyone will have a part in every aspect of developing the memorial.
The members will meet at least quarterly and make a recommendation to Norton in about two years. Then the memorial will be built using public and private money.
"This is going to be a pretty long process," he said.
The Sullivan fileName: Daniel J. Sullivan
Family: Wife, Vicky; sons, Eanny and Conor
Occupation: President and CEO, FedEx Ground