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Flight 93 — Eight years later

September 30, 2009

“I never really know what to say to you.”

Addressing family members of the heroes of United Flight 93, former Pennsylvania Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge spoke the very words that have reflected my very own thoughts for nearly the past eight years. He hit the nail on the head.

In 2002, while visiting the temporary memorial with its notes of gratitude, sorrow and honor, I was completely floored by the outpouring of love from all around the world. Sitting next to family members and listening to the bells toll at the first anniversary memorial ceremony in the sacred fields in Shanksville, Pa, left me in tears. Meeting mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons of the 40 brave passengers and crew at various events over the years, has rendered me speechless at times. And at this recent fundraising event held on the eighth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, I completely identified with the words of Tom Ridge.

“Sorry for your loss” has never seemed like quite enough to say to the families whose loved ones perished on that tragic flight.

While at times I don’t know what to say, I do know that I am very proud of the support FedEx has given to build the permanent memorial to honor these 40 heroes. What started as a simple request to provide in-kind shipping for commemorative medallions has grown to FedEx making the first major financial commitment of $1 million in 2005 for the funding of the memorial.

Two years from now on the 10th anniversary of September 11, I probably still won’t find the right words to express myself, but I hope to attend the opening of the Flight 93 National Memorial, knowing that FedEx played a key role in ensuring that the heroes of Flight 93 will never be forgotten.

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