The families of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 will meet with lawmakers and the Obama administration to ask for money in the 2013 federal budget to help finish the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pa.
The memorial honors the 40 passengers and crew who fought back against 9/11 hijackers who were likely targeting the U.S. Capitol building, forcing the plane to crash into a reclaimed strip mine, killing all aboard.
Family members arrived in Washington Wednesday for a series of meetings being held over three days with government officials and potential donors for the project
“We continue to lose surviving family members, and it’s really a shame that family members have this additional burden with this [memorial] waiting to be completed,” Patrick White told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
. White’s cousin, Louis J. Nacke II, was one of those who died aboard Flight 93.
Organizers are still $10 million short following a fundraising drive for $62 million to complete the monument. They have already raised $52 million in state, federal and private funds, dedicating the first phase of the memorial in September.
Many aspects of the memorial, including a visitors center, can’t be finished until the money is raised. The group plans to meet with White House staff, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the Office of Management and Budget, and National Park Service officials, as well as with Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.
“Our emphasis, of course, is [that] not only do those dollars for construction jobs bring to the local economy those additional revenues, but once the memorial is constructed, and what we’ve seen so far with the first phase being opened, you have tremendous dollars from tourists to the memorial that make their way into the local economy,” White said. “We believe that the expenditures of public dollars makes sense.”
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