WASHINGTON, May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In honor of Memorial Day, the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign announced today that the Richard King Mellon Foundation has committed to a $1 million challenge grant to support the building of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, honoring all those lost on September 11 including the 40 heroes of United Flight 93. The public is invited to participate at www.honorflight93.org/milliondollarmatch and double their gift to the memorial. When completed, the Flight 93 National Memorial will be the only national memorial dedicated to the events of September 11. Approximately $15 million in private funding is needed to finish the project.
"Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to honor and remember our nation's military, our first-responders, and the everyday people that have become extraordinary heroes -- including the men and women of United Flight 93," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation, the charitable partner of the Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign. "Thanks to the generosity of the Richard King Mellon Foundation, people everywhere have the opportunity to double their support and ensure that the heroes of 9/11 and United Flight 93 are never forgotten."
Nearly 10 years after the events of September 11, memorials in New York and at the Pentagon are fully funded. However, the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., has yet to receive the funds necessary to be complete. To support the Flight 93 National Memorial's "million dollar match" visit www.honorflight93.org/milliondollarmatch or call the National Park Foundation at (202) 354-6488.
The Richard King Mellon Foundation will match every donation, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million. In an effort to generate broader support on a national level, only donations received from outside the southwestern Pennsylvania region will count toward the challenge.
The Flight 93 National Memorial will be the nation's permanent memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93, and all of those lost on September 11, 2001. United Flight 93, originally destined for San Francisco, was hijacked by terrorists in the skies over Ohio. Once they received word of the attacks in New York and Washington, the passengers and crew took decisive action, choosing to fight their terrorist hijackers. Together they fought, and through their heroic actions, sacrificed their own lives, ultimately causing United Flight 93 to crash in a field outside of Shanksville, Pa., where no individuals on the ground were harmed. The most popular conclusion, including that of the 9/11 Commission, is that United Flight 93 was headed for the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. The actions of the 40 heroes on United Flight 93 saved countless lives and our nation's capital.
The Flight 93 National Memorial is an ambitious $60 million initiative. To date, $45 million has been committed through public and private sources. The National Park Foundation continues to spearhead the campaign, working to raise $15 million in private funding for the Flight 93 National Memorial. The memorial site is currently under construction with plans to dedicate the memorial on September 10, 2011. To view the memorial site live, visit www.honorflight93.org/webcam.
For more information on the story of United Flight 93 and the national memorial, please go to www.honorflight93.org.
ABOUT THE FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL On September 24, 2002, Congress passed the Flight 93 National Memorial Act. The Act created a new national park unit to commemorate the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who, on September 11, 2001, courageously gave their lives thereby thwarting a planned attack on our nation's capital. The memorial is outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed with the loss of its 40 passengers and crew. For more information about the Flight 93 National Memorial, please visit www.nps.gov/flni. For information on how to support the building of the memorial, go to www.honorflight93.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America's national parks. Founded by Congress, we work hand in hand with the National Park Service to strengthen and connect all Americans to our parks, so they are protected for present and future generations. It is a legacy that began more than a century ago, when private citizens took action to first establish, then protect and endow our national parks. Today, the National Park Foundation carries on that tradition as the only national charitable partner for America's national parks. To learn more visit www.nationalparks.org.