The Fallen Heroes congressional gold medal presented to the Flight 93 National Memorial headquarters in Shanksville, Pa., has survived an Oct. 3 fire that destroyed three buildings and numerous mementoes, according to the National Park Service.
U.S. House and Senate leaders posthumously presented the medal on Sept. 10, 2014, in a Capitol ceremony that paid tribute to the heroes who thwarted a terrorist hijacking.
As part of the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act of 2011, three medals were struck in honor of the men and women who perished as a result of the attacks.
In addition to the medal provided to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, one went to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and another to the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Va.
The NPS recently completed an inventory of the museum collection items lost in the fire. The final inventory confirmed there were significant losses, including the American flag that flew above the United States Capitol on Sept. 11, 2001.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to authorities, though arson and foul play have been ruled out. The fire destroyed the administrative and staff offices for the NPS and the Friends of Flight 93, conference facilities, and temporary storage of some of the memorial's archival and curatorial collection.
Approximately 90 percent of the memorial’s collection is housed at a high-security facility in the Pittsburgh area, but the fire struck when the items were in a “temporary curatorial storage and processing area” at the memorial headquarters, according to the NPS statement. For more information about the fire, visit the NPS website.
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