Because of cuts from the federal sequestration budget battle, the Flight 93 National Memorial will spend an extra month on a shorter, winter schedule, the memorial’s National Park Service superintendent said Tuesday.
Because the park service is cutting the number of seasonal employees to balance its budget, the Somerset County memorial will offer less interpretive programs and continue to allow visitors on to the property on a winter schedule of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last entry at 4:30 p.m., until May 1. It typically ends winter hours on April 1.
But Superintendent Jeff Reinbold said that because of the federal cuts this year, the longer summer hours — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the last entry at 6:30 p.m. — will not begin until May 1. He did not provide a cost figure on the cuts affected the memorial.
The memorial in Stonycreek commemorates the 40 victims of United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, who all died after some of the passengers fought the terrorists for control of the plane, which was believed to have been headed to crash into the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonD.C.
The national park currently features the memorial to the victims, but is expected to break ground this summer for construction of a visitors’ center that will offer interpretive exhibits about September 11 and the crash of Flight 93.