Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett visited the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County on Saturday to honor the sacrifice of the passengers and crew by presenting donated trees for the site.
This is the second year of a major volunteer reforestation effort at the memorial that will eventually result in 150,900 new trees at the site. The plans for the memorial, operated by the National Park Service, include 40 groves of trees to commemorate the lives of the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93.
“The 40 heroes of Flight 93 rose up against their captors and spared the nation further harm on September 11,” Corbett said. “We are planting these trees not only in their memory, but in honor of the futures they assured for countless citizens by planting the first seeds of resistance to assure our nation’s freedom.”
The governor and Mrs. Corbett, joined by Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan, visited and laid flowers at the memorial wall prior to the event in commemoration of the fallen passengers.
During the event, the governor presented the first sapling for planting to Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of Western Pennsylvania Parks, National Park Service.
The sapling was one of approximately 13,000 bare-root seedlings donated for planting by DCNR. The seeds were collected by the department’s staff from 16 different species of trees from the Flight 93 site and throughout Pennsylvania’s state forests, and grown at DCNR’s Penn Nursery in Centre County.
About 225 of the trees provided by DCNR through its TreeVitalize tree-cover initiative were supported by donations through a partnership with WITF, the public radio station in Harrisburg.
“Trees are living memorials,” Allan said. “This event is a great example of how we can all come together to pay tribute through planting symbols of hope and life, while also supporting clean air and a habitat for wildlife.”
The tree plantings are taking place on April 19-20 and April 26-27. About 600 volunteers will plant about 15,000 trees on 23 acres this year.
Allan participated as a volunteer during the tree planting event. DCNR also provided staff members from the Bureau of Forestry to share tree planting expertise as volunteer team leaders. Each team leader heads a group of 10 volunteers the day of each planting.
Source: Office of the Governor