Thursday, May 7, 2009
The National Park Service has begun to inform landowners near the Flight 93 crash site in that their land will be taken by eminent domain. The service is trying to gather a total of 15-hundred acres of land around the impact zone. NPS spokesperson Phil Sheridan says they prefer to reach deals with landowners but he says in some cases the negotiations have been going on for several years with no real progress. He says the goal is to have the new Flight 93 Memorial open by the 10th anniversary. If that is to happen, he says, they need to begin construction very soon. He says given the act of heroism to be memorialized at the site it is important to get it open within 10 years. Sheridan says the 500 acres involved in this action will be assessed and the landowners will be fairly compensated. The legal paperwork will be filed by the Department of Justice in the coming days. Some landowners expressed shock and disappointment that they received the notification letters while they were still negotiating with the government. A temporary memorial currently overlooks the crash site where 40 passengers and crew died.