Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Never Forget

WASHINGTON -- A group of airline pilots who rode across the country to raise money for memorials to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks awarded $45,000 Monday to each of the three projects.

Thomas Heidenberger, a US Airways pilot whose wife, Michele, was a flight attendant on the American Airlines plane that crashed into the Pentagon, presented checks to the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and groups raising funds for the Pentagon Memorial and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.

The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has raised more than $300 million toward its $350 million goal for a memorial and museum at the site where the twin towers stood. The project, which is expected to cost more than $700 million, is under construction and expected to open in 2009.

Construction is also under way at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Va., which is scheduled to open in 2008. Organizers have raised about $13.8 million of the $22 million cost of building a park just outside the wall where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed.

Fund raising for a $58 million memorial to the victims of United Airlines Flight 93 has fallen well short of organizers' goals. Project officials hope to begin construction in 2008.

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