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Mitsubishi's gift offers big start for Flight 93 heroes' memorial

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

By Tom Gibb, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

STONYBROOK, Pa. -- Dan Sinal and pal Norman Ingrund drove an hour from southern Blair County to the cluster of flags, flowers and banners that do for now as a memorial to the dead of Flight 93.

    To donate

Contributions to Mitsubishi's Pittsburgh Foundation fund can go to Heroes of Flight 93 Memorial Fund, Pittsburgh Foundation, One PPG Place, 30th Floor, Pittsburgh 15222.

The Somerset County fund is taking donations at Flight 93 Memorial Fund, Somerset Trust Co., PO Box 777, Somerset 15501.


Quietly, they looked and lingered. Then, like the steady trickle of people in and out of here yesterday, they got ready to head home again.

"What these people on this plane did was as brave an act as anybody could do," said Sinal, a Vietnam War veteran. "They ought to have a monument here."

Maybe they will.

In the 23 days since United Airlines Flight 93 took off from Newark, N.J., flew over Pennsylvania, then slammed into a vacant stretch of Somerset County, officials who streamed through this site have lauded passengers and crew as heroes who battled four hijackers. The phrase "hallowed ground" has been used again and again.

Now, money is coming that could preserve that ground.

Mitsubishi Electric Power Products Inc. of Marshall has contributed $100,000 to create the Heroes of Flight 93 Memorial Fund, administered by the Pittsburgh Foundation, to finance and maintain a memorial.

Somerset County commissioners have about $10,000 -- mostly in small donations -- in a newly-opened trust fund to do the same thing, Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes said yesterday.

While owners of land at the crash site say that they're willing to donate property, nobody's sure exactly where or what the memorial would be.

Mitsubishi wants it to be "appropriate, tasteful and inclusive," Pittsburgh Foundation spokeswoman Kitty Julian said yesterday.

It might be overseen locally; the National Park Service might take a role. It's a work in progress with both fund-raising efforts likely to dovetail, Tokar-Ickes said.

But it will happen, she said.

"I'd like to see something done," said county Coroner Wallace Miller. "That's an opinion also expressed to me by several [victims'] family members."

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