It’s a first for first ladies: Michelle Obama and Laura Bush will appear together next month on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — in Shanksville, Pa., where United flight 93 went down after the crew and passengers fought back against terrorists.
Administration officials said the event will build on Michelle Obama's focus on the heroes of 9/11 — celebrating their heroism, honoring their memories, and supporting their families.
Like the first lady's appearances with military families, the event will draw attention to ordinary people who do extraordinary things, and sacrifice their lives for the safety of others.
Here’s the announcement that will be made later Monday by the National Park Service:
“The National Park Foundation, official charity of America’s national parks, announced today that First Lady Michelle Obama will join Mrs. Laura W. Bush as an additional keynote speaker at the September 11, 2010, ceremony being held at the future site of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. They will join other distinguished guests including Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. The ceremony will honor the 40 passengers and crew of United Flight 93, along with all of those lost on September 11th. United Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, after the 40 passengers and crew fought back against terrorists attempting to attack our nation’s capital.
“Fundraising is currently underway to complete the memorial which is under construction and set for dedication on September 11, 2011. ‘We are deeply honored to welcome First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush and all of our guests to this important event,’ said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO, National Park Foundation. ‘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.’
“The ceremony will be held at the Western Overlook at the future site of Flight 93 National Memorial. In 2001, the Western Overlook was the location of the investigative command post for Flight 93 and was the point from which the families of the passengers and crew first observed the crash site. It was also where the media reported on the crash and provided the public with the first images from the crash scene. It is the site of the temporary memorial while the Flight 93 National Memorial is under construction.”