Obviously, this subject is very near and dear to my heart... Later in the article it references the 9-11 fundraiser they had at Heinz Field as well...

November 08, 2009
'We made it': Ground broken for Flight 93 memorial
The Tribune-Democrat

SHANKSVILLE — After years of two steps forward, one step back, ground was broken Saturday for the nation’s newest federal park – the $58 million Flight 93 National Memorial.

“We made it. We made it,” Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, told a couple hundred people from across the country. But not to the finish line, “certainly not to any semblance of closure,” he said.

Felt said memorial supporters just made it to the next milestone.

With a hearty “Let’s roll” mimicking Todd Beamer’s call to action aboard the ill-fated jet, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar dug in his shovel along with two dozen others. They included four young family members of the fallen heroes, Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and architect Paul Murdoch.

The memorial is scheduled for completion on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 in 2011.

The $58 million memorial eventually will include a 40 wind chime Tower of Voices, visitors center, marble plaza and plantings of maple trees. Tearing open an envelope, Salazar revealed that Errol Kinsley Joint Venture of York received the general construction contract for the first phase of the work.

Salazar recalled the tragedy of Sept. 11.

“For the first time ever, the enemies’ purpose was to kill innocent civilians,” he said.

He went on to recall the sacrifices of the 40 innocent passengers and crew: “They saved the lives of countless innocent people. They did not cower before fear.”

Squinting under sunny skies, President Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes said, “It’s a wonderful day, making this memorial a reality.”

Campbell Peterson, 13, and his brother Peyton, 9, of Bethesda, Md., were among those participating in the groundbreaking. They lost their grandparents – Donald Peterson and Jean Hoadley Peterson – that day.

Campbell said afterward it was difficult to be in the limelight though it was worth it so the innocents could “be put to rest peacefully. The purpose is to never forget what happened and, if other Flight 93s happened, to stand up.”

The other youngsters participating in the groundbreaking were Justin Nacke, nephew of Louis J. Nacke II, and Sarah Wainio, sister of passenger Honor Elizabeth Wainio.

Rendell said, “This memorial will be a lasting tribute to the brave heroes of Flight 93 who fought back against the terrorists, courageously sacrificing their lives to keep their plane from being used as another weapon.

“Future generations of Americans will come here to be reminded of the terrible price that has been paid by so many to defend our continued freedom.”

The drive to create a permanent remembrance to 9/11 in Shanksville has been a long, tortuous road. Setbacks included resignations, the danger of funding cutoffs, prickly public meetings and onerous negotiations for land.

Earlier, at a joint meeting of the Flight 93 Memorial Task Force and Flight 93 Advisory Commission at the Somerset courthouse, advisory panel Chairman John Reynolds told family members, “We’re coming to a point where results will show up. I hope you get out in the sunshine to the groundbreaking. Your hearts will be happy.”

United Flight 93 was en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when four Islamic hijackers took control of the cockpit. After turning around in Ohio, the plane was believed to be headed for the U.S. Capitol when the passengers revolted. Including the hijackers, 44 people died when the jetliner was crashed by the terrorists into an abandoned strip mine.

Also Saturday:

[HIGH-LIGHT]• Rendell announced that discussions are under way to show an abbreviated, 30-minute version of the feature-length film “United 93” at the visitors center.

• Officials said a Steelers-led get-together at Heinz Field on Sept. 11 drew 650 guests and raised in excess of $250,000 for the park.

• King Laughlin of the National Park Service Foundation – which is raising private-sector money for the memorial – said about $16.2 million of the $30 million goal has been raised. That money comes from 55,000 donors from a dozen nations and every state.[/HIGH-LIGHT]

Other initiatives that were briefly discussed included the Hearts of Steel bracelet campaign, the Ride with the 40 motorcycle ride and 93 cents for Flight 93.

“Tomorrow morning, I hope you wake up and realize there’s a lot more to be done,” Reynolds said.

He said the joint panel will be pushing for the Tower of Voices in phase two.

“And one of our next great and urgent efforts” will be deciding what will be included in a visitor’s center and how 9/11 and Flight 93 will be interpreted and defined. “We need intellectual power,” he said.