HARRISBURG – As a lasting tribute to the 44 men and women who died while trying to regain control of the fated Flight 93 on Sept. 11, Gov. Edward G. Rendell signed Senate Bill 760 into law naming Route 219 in Somerset County, “Flight 93 Memorial Highway.”
The governor also announced that Pennsylvania will provide a $120,000 state grant that will be used to pay for security at the Flight 93 crash site over the next two years.
“It should never be forgotten that some of the bravest people who were a part of what many see as the worst day in American history died while fighting against the terrorists who threatened them and the United States,” Rendell said. “Heroes were everywhere on 9/11, including those on this airplane who cried, ‘Let’s roll!’ and stormed the United Airlines cockpit.
“By naming Route 219 as Flight 93 Memorial Highway, we are telling family members who lost loved ones, as well as the rest of the world, that we will always remember the bravery of those who unselfishly gave of themselves to stop evil and protect America.”
Route 219 is a 208-mile road that stretches from Foster Brook, NY, to Salisbury, MD. However, it’s only the section of the highway that runs from Somerset County’s border with Cambria County to the Maryland line that is being named Flight 93 Memorial Highway.
Sen. Richard Kasunic (D-Fayette, Somerset) sponsored SB 760. The Senate approved the bill unanimously on April 24 while the House voted 198-0 in support of the proposal on June 4. United Flight 93 was one of four planes that were hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, but it was the only plane that did not hit its target. The plane crashed in Shanksville, Somerset County, after passengers stormed its hijackers.
As the bill itself says, “Neither the heroism of the passengers and crew on Flight 93, who selflessly gave their lives trying to regain control of the plane to avert further destruction, nor the compassion and the professionalism of the State and local emergency service personnel who responded to the crash should ever be forgotten.”
Regarding the $120,000 state grant for security at the site where Flight 93 went down, the governor said it was the right thing to do.
“The families who lost loved ones in this crash should not have to bear the burden of paying for security at this site. It also eliminates any need for donation boxes, which transformed this hallowed ground into something less dignified,” the governor said.