Wednesday, November 11, 2009

National Park Foundation Invites Americans to Honor Veterans Day by Supporting The Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Park Foundation is inviting all Americans to honor Veterans Day 2009 by supporting the campaign to complete the Flight 93 National Memorial. The memorial will honor the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93, who overtook the 9/11 terrorists aboard their flight and presumably thwarted efforts to launch a further attack on Washington, D.C.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the crash site marked the beginning of the construction process, as the campaign to support the memorial continues. To date, roughly one-third of the money needed has been raised to complete the Flight 93 Memorial. To make a contribution to the Flight 93 Campaign, visit: A video of highlights from the emotional groundbreaking ceremony was also released today on YouTube at

"All of America should be helping on this effort because they were heroes for all of America," said Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar at the groundbreaking ceremony. "Our nation's capital belongs to everybody in America, and if this plane, Flight 93 had hit its intended target who knows what the consequence would have been to the entire planet."

"Veterans Day is a time when we celebrate and honor the selfless men and women who have served the nation in times of need. The story of Flight 93 clearly resonates with the thousands of veterans who have visited the temporary memorial," said General Tommy Franks, honorary co-chair of the Flight 93 Campaign. "American Veterans are known for their commitment to getting hard jobs done. We are going to follow their example and complete the fundraising for the Flight 93 Memorial in time for the tenth anniversary of 9/11."

Many veterans who have visited the Flight 93 Crash Site have left tributes including a pair of combat boots, a Purple Heart, dog tags, and a brick from an Iraqi compound.

In a weekend editorial in the Washington Post about the groundbreaking, Gov. Tom Ridge, who is an honorary chairman of the Flight 93 Campaign, and Gov. Rendell wrote that, "The story of Flight 93 is a parable for our times that calls on each of us to be our best selves -- and to value and respect that spark in one another."

The National Park Foundation is running the campaign to complete the Flight 93 Memorial. To support the effort, please visit

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Veterans Day Call to Action

/PRNewswire/ -- This Veterans Day, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) is urging everyone to honor all veterans in every community across the nation.

"We encourage all Americans to take time out of their busy schedules to do something good for all generations of veterans and their families," said Paralyzed Veterans national president Gene A. Crayton. "And beyond Veterans Day, please take a minute to think about other opportunities to make every day a day for veterans. Thank you America for always caring about us."

Here are some suggested activities for this Veterans Day and beyond:

-- Everyone: Thank veterans for their service. It means more than you
might think. And please volunteer for veterans year round.
-- Leaders: From the President and Congress to our mayors, always use
your leadership to help empower veterans and their families.
-- Architects: Include wheelchair accessibility in your designs. This
improves everyone's quality of life.
-- Employers: Hire more paralyzed veterans. By doing do, veterans get
good jobs and careers in a tough economy, and employers get great

Sixty-three years ago, Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a band of spinal cord injured service members who returned home from World War II to a grateful nation, but also to a world with few solutions to the challenges they faced. These veterans from the "Greatest Generation" made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created an organization dedicated to veterans service, medical research and civil rights for people with disabilities. And for more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans of America and its 34 chapters have been working to create an America where all veterans, and people with disabilities, and their families have everything they need to thrive. (

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Restored Vietnam Memorial Unveiled on Veterans Day

/PRNewswire/ -- The newly restored Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial (PVVM) at Penns Landing will be unveiled on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 at noon at Front and Spruce streets.

The unveiling concludes two years of fund-raising for the $500,000 project necessitated by 21 years of wear and damage from the weather, general use and vandalism. "In many ways, this effort by the PVVM Fund Board of Directors has resulted in virtually a brand new Memorial that will ensure the preservation of this important monument to the sacrifice of 646 Philadelphians," noted PVVMF president Terry A. Williamson.

The ceremony will feature an unveiling of the wall of names by the Vietnam history class of LaSalle College High School and raising of the Armed Services flags by an active duty member of each branch of service. The keynote speaker is PA Justice Seamus P. McCaffrey and remarks will be delivered by Mayor Michael Nutter.

The reconstruction represents the first phase of the "Duty to Remember" Campaign for the preservation of the Memorial. Improvements include the replacement of paving material, restoration of damaged granite, new lighting, a refurbished "wall of names," the installation of flagpoles to honor POW/MIAS and for each of the Armed Services, and other improvements.

One of the exciting improvements is a web-based 24/7 camera system, which just became operational last week, to permit individuals to visit our web site at to view a live video feed of the Memorial.

"Unfortunately, the restoration will not halt the vandalism and desecration that has marked the site since its dedication," Williamson said. "We believe the only way to do that is to open the Spruce Street side of the secluded Memorial to expose such acts to the public. That's why we have launched the second phase of our campaign to raise $500,000 for this purpose."

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