Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 10:30 p.m.
The Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial and Leadership Somerset County will host “Walk 93,” an inaugural memorial walk at the Flight 93 National Memorial, on Sept. 26. All proceeds will fund the building and maintenance of trails at the memorial near Stoystown.
Participants will get a chance to experience the new Visitor Center Complex 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
At 9 a.m., the 2.28-mile walk through Allee Walkway, Wetlands Bridge and Western Overlook Trail will take place. The non-competitive walk will allow visitors to reflect on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and create awareness about the 40 brave passengers and crew members of Flight 93.
After attending Leadership Somerset County, a 10-month program designed to nurture new community and business leaders, Rebecca Kuzar, executive assistant for the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial and her project team of six kept coming back to the idea of hosting a memorial walk at the Flight 93 National Memorial.
“We are looking forward to highlighting the two new trails that will open in September in conjunction with the event,” Kuzar said. “Money donated will also allow us to build new trails for future generations to utilize.”
The National Park Service will be the end recipient of the funds raised. Superintendent of the Western Pennsylvania National Parks Stephen Clark shared his excitement about the event in a Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial press release.
“Walk 93 will highlight one of our new experiences at Flight 93 National Memorial: the trails. The Friends support in raising awareness about the trails and providing financial support for their continued maintenance and development is invaluable,” Clark said. “We want both current and future visitors to experience this memorial landscape.”
Kuzar notes the Friends of Flight 93 rely on community support to raise additional funds, because federal funding covers only some of the costs.
“We are fortunate enough to have five national parks in Western Pa.,” Kuzar said. “We should be the ones to help care for this memorial because it is right in our backyard.”
“This is the final resting place for the 40 people that lost their lives that day,” she said. “Their story lives on here.”
Participants can register online at www.Flight93Friends.org/programs-events/ or complete and mail a registration form with payment to Walk 93, P.O. Box 911, Shanksville, PA 15560.
Registration for the event will run through mid-September. The registration fee for adults age 18 and older is $25, youth age 13-17 is $12, and children 12 and under are free. Adults and youth will receive a shirt with their registration. Children’s shirts can be purchased for a small fee the day of the event.
Individuals and businesses interested in becoming a sponsor, partner or in donating items for the event, can contact Kuzar at 814.893.6322, Ext. 4, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chloe Wertz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.