Tales from the Trail

Michelle Obama, Laura Bush to appear together at 9/11 memorial

michelle_laura2First lady Michelle Obama and her predecessor, Laura Bush, will appear together next month in Pennsylvania at a ceremony marking the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Obama and Bush will participate in ceremonies honoring the victims of the attacks, including the 40 passengers and crew killed in the crash of United Flight 93, the National Park Foundation said in a statement on Monday.

“Their show of support honors the lives and memories of these 40 heroes and everyone we lost on September 11th, and serves as a valuable reminder of how important this memorial is to preserve and share their story,” National Park Foundation President Neil Mulholland said.

United Flight 93, en route from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, crashed into a field near Shanksville, in western Pennsylvania. The passengers and crew on the flight are believed to have struggled with the hijackers who had seized the plane.

Three other hijacked planes crashed into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon outside Washington, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Family member of 9/11 victim presses Attorney General on trials

GUANTANAMO-USA/After the sharp exchanges of words between Attorney General Eric Holder and senators about trying the Sept. 11 suspects in criminal court fell quiet, a soft-spoken woman who lost her 31-year-old son that day approached.

Alice Hoagland’s son Mark Bingham died on hijacked United Flight 93 which crashed in rural Pennsylvania and she had come to Washington to attend the Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing of the Justice Department where Holder’s decision about prosecuting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others was the main subject.

“I take great exception to your decision to give short shrift to the military commissions and to put the five most heinous criminals and war criminals into court in New York City,” an emotional Hoagland told Holder. “It will give these ugly people, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh especially, very eloquent access to all the media sources in the United States.”

Congress thanks Sept. 11 air travelers who may have saved them

OBAMA/Congress paused on Wednesday to thank the air travelers who possibly saved their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 by fighting back against the al Qaeda hijackers who had taken over their plane.

In a brief ceremony, congressional leaders unveiled a plaque inscribed with the names of those aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who forced the hijackers to crash the plane in a Pennsylvania field before reaching its target, presumed to be the Capitol or the White House.

Hijackers diverted the San-Francisco bound plane and pointed it toward Washington that morning as part of a coordinated attack that also crashed three jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

8 years after 9/11, Flight 93 memorial moves forward

Eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. government and landowners in Somerset County have reached an agreement that will allow the building of a memorial  to the passengers and crew of  hijacked Flight 93 that crashed into the fields of rural Pennsylvania. SHANKSVILLE

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the memorial will cost about $20 million, which includes $9.5 million for the land.

“The fields of western Pennsylvania, where the heroes of Flight 93 perished, are hallowed ground for a grateful nation,” Salazar said.

Obama, Bill Clinton discuss 9/11, campaign, world affairs

obamaclinton.jpgNEW YORK – Barack Obama  and Bill Clinton talked over lunch on Thursday about the economy and world affairs in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and what the former president can do to help the Democratic nominee defeat Republican John McCain in the Nov. 4 election.

In a joint statement, the two men said they had a “great conversation” during their meeting, which came on the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“They discussed the campaign briefly but mostly talked about how the world has changed since September 11, 2001,” the statement said. “They also spoke about what the next president can do to help make the economy work for all Americans, as it did under President Clinton, and ensure safety and prosperity far beyond the coming the election.”