“Now, they want a living memorial, and to take it back to how it was pre-mining, and to really create a beautiful area to commemorate the 40 people who died there.”
John Bernstiel, a national parks service ranger who manages the Flight 93 Memorial added, “Coal was mined here for the better part of 40 years.
“Although the coal industry brings a lot of prosperity to the area in the form of well-paying jobs and business, strip mining is a very invasive process that is harmful to the land.”
“Certain steps have to be taken to reclaim or heal the land after the mining is finished. This process can take decades.
“Paul Murdoch, the architect of the memorial, working with his firm and landscape architect, decided that he wanted to directly incorporate this reclamation process into his design.
“He did this through natural elements, such as our wetlands and 40 memorial groves, and also through the planned reforestation project, now in its seventh year.
“His idea was that we could help heal this scared landscape, as we as a country continued to heal after the events of Sept. 11.”