Our effort to honor past and future crew members in this struggle against terrorism still continues. There is still time and opportunity to show your support for those who have been and are on the front line. They didn't ask to be in this position, but you can be sure there will be other instances of terrorism. This should be a Memorial by and for the Aviation Community. Modest donations by many people have added up quickly and made this a reality. There have been many from outside the Aviation Community who have supported us and we ask for your continued help. There is a tradition in military squadrons that the original members are considered and honored as "Plank Owners". Many of you are already Plank Owners. When you visit your beautiful Memorial it will mean all the more that you were a part of its birth. The Foundation has donated the Memorial to the City of Grapevine. In return the city has made the Memorial a part of their Parks system. There were features of the Memorial that were left undone due to financial concerns. The main one was a water feature. We are presently upgrading the lighting at the Memorial at a cost of over $5000. Grapevine has indicated that funds donated in the Memorial's name will be allocated to the City of Grapevine's Public Arts Fund and ear marked to the Memorial. Also the Engraved Pavers are still available through the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Please donate and spread the word about the Memorial and our website. Your donations are tax deductible. You may ask what the Foundation is doing. We are continuing to build Memorials. A memorial to Fire Fighters killed in the 9/11 attack is our next project and will be placed in Grapevine. The torch has been passed to a new President and Board of Directors under a new name, 9/11 Memorial Foundation Texas .
A huge thank you for all who have helped build this memorial. We have dedicated this exciting tribute to flight crews of all airlines. We want to honor everyone who is now a shareholder in eternity of the 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial. This has been accomplished with donations of all sizes ranging from a few major corporate and individual donations to just the $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 donations we received from all across this great nation. The vast majority of our funding came from these small donations. Other than the City of Grapevine's, there were no government grants. We are grateful to the volunteers who dedicated themselves to assist however they could and who stood with us with no doubt that this could be done.
The name of the bronze art is VALOR – COMMITMENT – DEDICATION. The valor was demonstrated in the professionalism and courage shown by those who perished on that fateful day from the most vicious attack ever on American soil. Their names will always be engraved into stone and history and in our hearts. The crews who climbed back aboard when the sky was reopened demonstrated unparalleled valor going into the unknown to bring everyone home to their loved ones.
Commitment was later demonstrated along with the same courage when their companies called upon them to keep their companies alive by giving up pay that they earned, to keep solvency available in the terrible years following. They still have not been repaid for this courageous effort, but they demonstrated commitment and continue to work under conditions worse than ever.
Dedication to their jobs making safety in the sky their number one issue is paramount. They have been pushed to the limit with rest time barely reaching minimums. Flying safe aircraft has been questionable as recently demonstrated by actions taken by FAA to this regard.
We are honoring all flight crews of all airlines internationally. We have placed this memorial under the flight path into one of America’s largest and busiest airports, Dallas Fort Worth International. It is visible from the sky when approaching from the North or departing to the North. You can visit it from the terminals with a short cab ride of about 4 miles. Please make the time to visit. I would like to personally shake the hand of all who believed in this from the beginning. The Memorial has taken on a life of its own. It grew from two life-size figures without a home to be five one and one half life-sized figures within a city who wanted to honor “Flight Crews”, Grapevine, Texas. This small city is home to the DFW airport with over two thirds being within its city limits. Without Grapevine's support building the Memorial would not have been possible. On July 4, 2008 we gathered together and honored America's birthday and our courageous comrades. It was a glorious morning with close to a thousand in attendance. The Memorial is more beautiful and awe inspiring than we could have imagined. Come and see it.