White House Correspondent
First Lady Michelle Obama
will join with former First Lady Laura Bush at a ceremony in Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11 to commemorate the victims of the terrorist hijacking of United Flight 93 nine years ago, the National Park Foundation announced Monday. The site of the event, the Western Overlook, is the location of the planned Flight 93 National Memorial, which is scheduled for completion in 2011 on the 10-year anniversary of the attacks. According to an official press release, "In 2001, the Western Overlook was the location of the investigative command post for Flight 93 and was the point from which the families of the passengers and crew first observed the crash site. It was also where the media reported on the crash and provided the public with the first images from the crash scene."
The 40 victims aboard the Newark-to-San Francisco flight are remembered for their decision to battle the terrorists who had hijacked the plane and planned to crash it into either the Capitol or White House -- part of the broader 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington. The passengers had received news of the coordinated attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and sought to overpower the hijackers and gain control of the flight. In the process, the plane crashed in a remote section of western Pennsylvania, killing all on board.
In her recently published memoir, "Spoken From the Heart
," Mrs. Bush recalled the morning of Sept. 11 as a warm one graced by "a brilliant cerulean blue" sky. Hours later, she wrote, "the world as I knew it had irrevocably changed." On the first anniversary of the attacks, President and Laura Bush attended a ceremony at Ground Zero in New York and spoke with survivors, firefighters, and those who had lost loved ones. Later that day, the first couple met with relatives of the passengers who died on United 93. In remarks at a ceremony that day, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Ridge, who was Pennsylvania's governor at the time of the attacks, said, "We do not know how long it will take to defeat the scourge of terrorism or how many Americans will give their lives for the cause. But we do know one thing with absolute certainty: The passengers and crew of Flight 93 won the first battle."
Last year, on the eighth anniversary of tragedy, Mrs. Obama and President Obama commemorated the event by taking part in the "9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance
." Highlighting community service, the first couple helped paint a house
with Habitat for Humanity volunteers.
Details on this year's event featuring the first ladies will be released in the coming days.