With political bickering at a fever pitch and a budget dispute threatening government operations once again, nearly 400 people – among them deep-pocketed corporate leaders, the top lawmaker in Congress, and two former presidents – turned out for an event that raised an estimated $2 million to help complete the Flight 93 National Memorial project.
The first phase of the 2,200-acre park being built near Shanksville, 75 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The park memorializes the 40 passengers and crew who stormed the cockpit of United Flight 93 that dark day and brought down the jet in an abandoned coal field just 20 minutes before it would have reached what investigators later determined was the hijackers’ destination – the Capitol in Washington.
But almost 11 years later, funds raised are still $14 million shy of the $76 million total needed to complete the park.
Of funds raised for the memorial thus far, $30 million has come from the private sector and $32 million from government sources, including $18 million from the state of Pennsylvania, the largest single donor.