Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Friends of Flight 93 Annual Meeting

Today I received an e-mail from Donna Glessner on behalf of the Friends of Flight 93 Board of Directors. The Friends group was formed in recent years and I am proud to say I am a member. The purpose of the e-mail was to inform the Friends about the annual meeting which is coming up next Saturday, November 3rd in Somerset, Pennsylvania at the National Park Service Headquarters. It is very inexpensive to join this group-$25.00 annually. I have written in earlier blogs about my weekend volunteering at the Flight 93 Memorial as well as flying flags at the park headquarters. Family commitments make it impossible for me to attend the meeting, but boy would I like to! Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of the Flight 93 Memorial, will be giving a report/update. Perhaps the most exciting part of the meeting is that drawings of the Visitor/Learning Center will be shared. This will be constructed beginning next year and probably ready by 9/11/14. That last part was purely a guess on my part. As an educator this center is very exciting to me. Having taken students to three temporary sites since 2005 and to the permanent memorial last May this represents a new era at the site. One of the questions I asked King Laughlin, The Washington D. C. Flight 93/National Park Service manager several years ago was if this center would have classroom space and indeed it does! At present if you visit you can view the Memorial which includes a plaza entrance, a walkway, and the memorial itself which includes a panel for each of the 40 heroes-crew and passengers aboard United 93 from September 11, 2001. The Learning and Visitors Center will allow people-students and adults alike-to explore the story further. As a teacher the possibilities are endless. Better than visiting the website, consider a personal visit to the site. It is about a 3-3/12 hour drive from northeast Ohio. I encourage all I can to make a stop in Shanksville-it is on the way to Washington D. C. and other places east. The Friends group works tirelessly volunteering at the site. They also work on fundraising and promoting events at the site. They are a great group of people. They have made trips to D. C. to visit with Pentagon Memorial volunteers as well as to New York City to interact with volunteers from the 9/11 Memorial. In addition, they have hosted both groups in Shanksville. I look forward to the time in the not too distant future when that visitor's center opens coinciding with my own retirement from full-time teaching so I can dedicate more time at the Flight 93 Memorial.

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