- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 13, 2003

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Three days after donating 29 acres of land, a coal company has agreed to sell 800 more acres to a nonprofit group — supplying most of the land sought for a national memorial to United Flight 93.

PBS Coals Inc., based in Friedens, Pa., announced Friday it would sell the land to The Conservation Fund, an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit group working for the National Park Service to preserve land for a memorial for the 40 passengers and crew who died on the September 11, 2001, flight.

Neither PBS Coals nor The Conservation Fund released figures of the sale, expected to be completed next summer.

“Some call it hallowed ground, sacred ground, holy ground, priceless ground. I don’t know what I’d call it if my family was there,” said John Weir, a spokesman for PBS Coals.

Some have called the crash site, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, sacred ground, but others consider it a cemetery because less than 10 percent of the human remains were recovered. Relatives of the victims have said they would like it to be treated as hallowed ground.

Family members hailed the donation and pending sale.

Stepping onto a podium during a news conference, Esther Heymann, of Baltimore, whose stepdaughter died on the hijacked plane, could say only, “Thank you.”

On Tuesday, PBS Coals announced it would donate 29 acres, including part of the site where Flight 93 crashed, becoming the third group to give away land.

Last week, Pittsburgh-based Consol Energy announced it had donated 140 acres of company-owned land. Last year, Tim Lambert, a Harrisburg-area resident, donated six acres to the nonprofit Families of Flight 93 Inc.

The sale and donations would give the Park Service most of the 1,500 acres that a federal panel has said it would like for a memorial.

United Airlines Flight 93 was en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it made a sudden turn near Cleveland.


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