Local and regional officials and funders celebrate at the September 4 groundbreaking at the Garrett trailhead.
Digging in: Celebrating the beginnings of new trail in Somerset County, PA
The skies cleared on Friday, September 4, 2020 just in time for a festive celebration of the new trail segment to be built in Somerset County, PA, beginning at the Garrett trailhead of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, leading through the borough of Garrett, and onto a former rail bed. Later phases of construction will take the trail north through Berlin to the Flight 93 National Memorial.
The September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance is pleased to welcome three new faces — a new board member and two communications staff members — to the team to support the continued growth of the 1,300-mile trail.
Deborah Borza remembers meeting David Brickley, founder of the 9/11 Trail, at an event at the Flight 93 National Memorial. Since the airline crash took the life of Deora, her 20-year-old daughter, Borza has been working to ensure that a fitting memorial to the flight’s passengers and crew was built in southwestern Pennsylvania. She liked the sounds of Brickley’s project, creating a trail that would connect all three memorials.
“I was interested,” she remembers, “because I want the other two memorials to have a connection to the Flight 93 site.”
For 2020, in response to safety concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our second annual 24-mile bike ride through beautiful Laurel Highlands region, including a loop through the grounds of the Flight 93 National Memorial, will become a virtual ride.
All registrants will receive a Tour de Trail t-shirt, map of the route, and link to video footage of the route, including recent ceremonies at the memorial site honoring Flight 93 passengers and crew. Participants can ride the route themselves, at a convenient day and time of your choosing, or bike 24 miles closer to home.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cancel events and travel plans, the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance has launched a challenge to encourage walkers, runners, and cyclists to tour the 9/11 Trail virtually while staying close to home.
For motivation, the Alliance will send encouraging messages to all who register for the challenge and reward participants with commemorative swag as they reach each of the three memorials on the 1,300-mile route.
Like all of you, the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance staff and board sincerely hope this health emergency will pass swiftly and with minimal harm and disruption. To that end, we are following the advice of public health authorities and taking proactive steps to stymie the advancement of COVID-19 in our community. That includes avoiding large group gatherings, minimizing in-person contact and social separation suggestions. We believe this is an important moment for our community to show concern, compassion, and prudence by avoiding measures that could put any one of us at risk.
By David Hurst, Tribune-Democrat
New activity through the region’s recreations spaces, its rivers — and even two of its busiest roads — provides reason for optimism across the Johnstown region in 2020, area leaders said. While the past year has brought progress on routes 219 and 22, the region’s growing network of hiking and biking trails is expected to continue to make headlines in the year ahead across the region.
The United States Senate passed Senate Resolution 267 by unanimous consent on September 11, 2019, to recognize the September 11th National Memorial Trail “as an important trail and greenway all individuals should enjoy in honor of the heroes of September 11th.” The House of Representatives is considering a similar measure, House Resolution 384.
In a Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial, Robin Beres writes, "U.S. Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., have collaborated on a resolution that aims to recognize the 1,300-mile September 11th National Memorial Trail. The multi-use trail, first envisioned by Virginian David Brickley just days after the tragedy, is a network of roads and paths that connects the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa., and the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York City."