Congress expected to approve 1,300-mile long 9/11 Memorial Trail

popular
Photo: Defense.gov

The likely passage of U.S. Senate and House bills are expected to boost continued development of the 1,300-mile-long September 11th National Memorial Trail connecting all three plane crash memorial sites in Shanksville, Pa., New York City and Arlington, Va.

The September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, along with others, has shepherded the development of the network of bicycle and pedestrian trails linking the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville in Somerset County to New York City's National September 11 Memorial and Museum and the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Va. The trail has been in the works almost 18 years.


Both the House and the Senate drafted resolutions currently in committees recognizing the September 11th trail as an "important trail and greenway all individuals should enjoy in honor of the heroes of September 11th."

U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced the Senate resolution June 27. Toomey is hoping for the bill's passage before Sept. 11, according to spokesman Steve Kelly.

A House bill was introduced May 15 with eight sponsors including U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. (Bucks County), and Matt Cartwright, D-Pa. (Scranton/northeastern Pennsylvania).

Toomey said in a statement Tuesday, in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, "Pennsylvania remembers that had it not been for the sacrifice of those who overtook the terrorists on Flight 93, it could have been much worse. The September 11th National Memorial Trail connects key landmarks in a way that helps our country move forward positively and offers solemn remembrance to hallowed grounds."

There is no trail funding attached to the resolutions nor inclusion of the trail in the National Parks Service.

The purpose of the congressional resolutions is recognition, which will help developers move more of the trail off-road, according to Thomas Baxter, president of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, who works out of offices in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

The trail is a patchwork of previously developed trail segments and secondary, less-traveled roads in seven states — West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Maryland and Virginia — and the District of Columbia.

"The congressional resolutions tremendously raise the profile of the trail and its national significance," Baxter said.

Trail development typically happens on the private sector-side and with state partners, said Baxter, former executive director of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Pittsburgh.

"The legislation allows us to approach funding sources and talk about what we can do to reach this goal, which is completion of the trail," Baxter said.

David Brickley, founder of the September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance, said the trail is 55% off-road and 45% on-road and is usable as-is. The goal, he said, is to make it an entirely off-road trail.

"We realize it's going to take some time," he said.

Completion could take decades, according to Kent Taylor, a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources program specialist.

More than 500 miles of the September 11th National Memorial Trail will wind through Pennsylvania, making it the state's longest recreational trail when completed, Taylor said.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

———

©2019 The Valley News-Dispatch (Tarentum, Pa.)

Visit The Valley News-Dispatch (Tarentum, Pa.) at www.triblive.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Barrett's bolt-action Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) system (Courtesy photo)

The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.

Read More
(U.S. Air Force photo)

Air Force officials are investigating the death of a man near the north gate of the U.S. Air Force Academy on Saturday night after the NHL Stadium Series hockey game between the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings, military officials said Sunday.

Read More
(Navy photo / Chief Mass Communication Specialist Paul Seeber)

The Citizens of Ebey's Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.

COER and private citizen Paula Spina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday.

According to the motion, since March 2019 the Navy has increased the number of Growlers at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and shifted most of its Growler operations to Outlying Field Coupeville, which is near the Reserve and the town of Coupeville.

"The result is a nearly fourfold increase in Growler flights in that area. Now the overflights subject residents in and near Coupeville to extreme noise for several hours of the day, day and night, many days of the week," said the court document.

Read More
An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron taxis down the runway during Sentry Aloha 20-1 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Jan. 15, 2020. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

A 26-year-old man died after he failed to surface from waters off Molokai while participating in a scuba diving tour over the weekend.

He has been identified as Duane Harold Parsley II and was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, according to the Maui Police Department.

Read More
Manzanar, the first of ten such concentration camps established by Executive Order No. 9066 on February 19, 1942. (Dorothea Lange for the War Relocation Authority)

LOS ANGELES — For decades, Japanese American activists have marked Feb. 19 as a day to reflect on one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.

On that date in 1942, during World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the forced removal of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent from their homes and businesses.

On Thursday, the California Assembly will do more than just remember.

Read More