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Matthews' Plaque Honors Flight 93 Passengers

Representatives from Matthews International Corporation worked with Somerset County Commissioners to present a cast bronze memorial honoring the heroic passengers and crew of United Flight 93 that crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania some 85 miles southeast of Matthews' Pittsburgh manufacturing facility.

According to information released from the Federal Aviation Administration, the jetliner crashed into a deserted strip mine after it was wrestled away from hijackers by several courageous passengers attempting to thwart the terrorists' plans of crashing the jet into an intended target in or around the Washington, D.C. area. The jetliner was one of four planes commandeered by hijackers during a series of air attacks on September 11 that struck the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in northern Virginia.

From a dialogue between Matthews' Marketing Director Dave Jones and Somerset County Commissioner Brad Cober, the concept of a temporary memorial was conceived. Then, on September 17 when United Airlines released the names of the innocent people onboard the plane, Matthews' employees began production of a cast bronze memorial to honor the passengers and crew.

American flag emblems are positioned on each side of the copy that reads:

"This memorial is in memory of the brave men and women who gave their lives to save so many others. Their courage and love of our country will be a source of strength and comfort to our great nation. God Bless America."

The memorial then lists the names of the 40 passengers and crew members aboard the jetliner. "United Flight 93... September 11, 2001" is cast below the names.

Somerset County Commissioners Brad Cober, James Marker and Pamela Tokar-Ickes were present when Matthews installed the memorial. In attendance that day were: Lynne Chaney, the wife of Vice President Dick Chaney; Attorney General John Ashcroft; FBI Director Robert Mueller and Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Mark Schweiker.

The memorial is currently positioned inside a tent near the crash site on an easel beside flowers, photographs and cards that serve as personal memorials to the passengers from their loved ones.

"For a long time, I think that everybody is going to think about the freedom and liberties we've experienced in the past," Cober said. "I'm sure that this country is strong and this community is strong and we'll be rebuilding with America."

"Matthews' employees wanted to help in some small way, especially since the location was only 85 miles away," Jones explained. "Memorialization is an important part of the healing process. It is truly an honor to memorialize the freedom fighters aboard United Flight 93."