SHANKSVILLE, Pa., Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said Saturday a permanent memorial to the crash of a hijacked airliner in Pennsylvania would be dedicated Sept. 11, 2011.
First Lady Michelle Obama and her predecessor, Laura Bush, attended an event near Shanksville Saturday where more than 40 people died in a crash that occurred when the passengers attempted to take control of the plane from a group of hijackers intent on using it to attack Washington, the Interior Department said in a written statement.
Salazar said at Saturday's memorial service in the field where Unites Airlines Flight 93 went down in 2001 that the first phase of the project, including a memorial plaza and access roads to and around the crash site would be completed in time for the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
"The Department of Interior, in our capacity as stewards of national parks and historic sites, is fully committed to building a memorial to rightly commemorate these heroes," Salazar said.
Funds are being raised for the second phase of the memorial, which will include a grove of 40 trees and a walkway to the actual crash site.