Memorial design finalists focus on victims, families
The winning design will be announced Sept. 11.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Five designs for a memorial to the 40 passengers and crew who died on United Airlines Flight 93 -- including groves of trees, reflecting pools and man-made lakes and a more than 2-mile-long wall -- were unveiled Friday as a memorial to the hijacked flight got one step closer to reality.
A jury of 10 people, including victims' relatives, chose the five finalists from 1,011 designs submitted by established firms and novices alike.
The designs all tread lightly on the reclaimed strip mine and family farms surrounding the crash site, which many consider hallowed ground because only a fraction of the victims' remains were recovered.
Flight 93 was the only of four hijacked planes not to take a life on the ground on Sept. 11, 2001. The official 9/11 Commission report said the hijackers crashed the plane as passengers tried to take control of the cockpit.
Most of the designs include a path leading through the rolling hills and woods to the crash site, where tall grass and wildflowers have replaced a burned scar in the earth from the plane's impact and explosion. One design includes a 2 1/2-mile-long wall imprinted with the names of the victims leading to the crash site. Another has a covered trail that replicates in miniature the airplane's jagged flight path from Newark, N.J., to Cleveland and back toward Washington, D.C.
The crash site near Shanksville, about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, and the surrounding area totals 2,200 acres.
The five finalists have until June 15 to submit detailed plans for the memorial. A second jury will announce a winning design by Sept. 11, the fourth anniversary of the attacks. Two weeks later, the design must be submitted to Congress and the Interior Department, which will oversee the development.
About 5,200 groups from around the world submitted proposals for a memorial to the victims of the World Trade Center attack. The competition to design a memorial for the victims of the attack at the Pentagon attracted more than 1,100 entries.
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