- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 3, 2005

The design for the national monument in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members who died on United Airlines Flight 93 will be unveiled Wednesday in the District.

With names such as “Disturbed Harmony” and “Crescent of Embrace,” each of the five designs under consideration reflects a different approach. Plans vary from the proposed use of a small chapel with 40 metallic wind chimes to a “Bravery Wall” with the names of the passengers and crew members.

The memorial will be built in the Shanksville, Pa., field where the plane crashed on September 11, 2001. It was one of four planes hijacked that day by terrorists whose plot killed nearly 3,000 persons in New York, at the Pentagon and aboard the airplanes.

Hamilton Peterson, president of the Families of Flight 93, said it is a relief to see the project moving forward.

“It’s probably one of the most significant milestones in our effort to memorialize the heroism of the passengers and crew of Flight 93, in that there will be a precise focus and objective to be pursued,” said Mr. Peterson, whose father and stepmother were killed on Flight 93.

The plane was on its way to San Francisco from Newark, N.J., when it was hijacked and crashed about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The official 9/11 commission report stated the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers tried to take back control of the cockpit.

Flight 93 was the only plane that did not take a life on the ground.

A 15-member jury made up of family members, community members and design professionals was given the task of making a final recommendation on the design. The five were selected from 1,011 designs submitted for the site, which is about 2,000 acres.

By unveiling the design in the District, organizers hope to garner maximum publicity for their campaign to raise $30 million in private dollars for the project.

The fundraising campaign is in its early stages and is being co-chaired by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge and retired Gen. Tommy Franks, who oversaw operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The state of Pennsylvania has already donated more than $10 million for the memorial. A projected date for the opening has not been set.

Since the crash, more than 130,000 people annually have visited a temporary memorial made of chain-link fence at the crash site and have left behind more than 20,000 items.

Some of the items will be used in exhibits, while others will be studied by researchers seeking to understand how people reacted to the terrorist attacks, said Barbara Black, curator of the Flight 93 National Memorial.

The five designs have been available for public viewing online and in Somerset, Pa.

The design selected must be approved by the director of the National Park Service and the secretary of the Interior.

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