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.”
Her work as an officer of the Families of Flight 93 and the Friends of Flight 93 was wrapping up, so she agreed to join the board of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance. She brings the lessons she’s learned over many years of meeting with elected officials, government agencies, and the National Park Service to secure funding for the memorial and to keep the project moving along.
“Debbie Borza has been an invaluable board member since the early days of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance,” says Brickley, who awarded Borza with the annual Golden Spike Award in honor of her outstanding service to the 9/11 Trail at the Alliance’s annual meeting in May 2020. “Her leadership in seeing the Flight 93 National Memorial through to completion has been outstanding. With the tragic loss of her 20-year old daughter Deora, one of the heroes of 9/11, Debbie provides a special insight into the meaning and purpose of the 9/11 Trail far beyond that of the usual trail and greenway.”
While working on the Flight 93 memorial, Borza moved from San Diego to just outside of Annapolis, Maryland. She enjoys biking the B&A Trail, a popular rail-trail that runs north from Annapolis. Walkers, runners, and cyclists can easily access services and amenities — including a coffee shop, frozen yogurt store, bike shop, and brewery — from the B&A.
“I get excited when I think about the 9/11 Trail going through so many communities and all the people who will be able to use it day to day,” Borza says, just as she enjoys her local trail.