No coincidence, the Game Commission had to jockey its massive public hunting lands numbering system to accommodate the storied flight number. Some 700 and mostly wildlife law enforcement personnel and family members of the victims attended the ceremony. Much of the new tract was donated by one of the country’s most historic coal companies, Consol Energy.
Local readers may not only appreciate the coal fields aspect of the infamous event, there is a bit more to explain regarding the wildlife law enforcement link.
Thanks to Jason DeCoskey of the PGC who provided varying news blips and a little Wikipedia research, here goes.
One of the crash victim passengers had a strong law enforcement background and was at the time a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee.
Hailing from New Jersey, Richard Guadagno was flying from New Jersey where he had attended his grandmother’s 100th birthday.
He was returning to his position as a refuge manager in California when the Newark to San Francisco flight was hijacked over Ohio.
It was then redirected by four hijackers toward its intended target believed to be the White House at the nation’s Capitol.
Of the four hijacked jetliners that infamous day, this one was lagging a bit behind the World Trade Center (two) and Pentagon events.
Thanks to actual phone conversations, the cockpit voice recorder and other evidence, it was determined that the passengers attempted to thwart the hijacking by retaking the plane.
The running of the plane directly into the ground from its intended target is directly attributed to the heroic efforts of the passengers.
One of their famous last recorded phrases in the takeover effort of “let’s roll” became a national catchphrase. Per Guadagno’s background and other information, it was believed that he was directly involved in the retake attempt.
It was believed that he was in the group of passengers trying to push a drink cart through the cockpit door in the effort.
Guadagno’s father Jerry was presented an American flag at the recent ceremony by the Chief of Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Plans are already in the works to expand the wildlife area.
To the flight crew, passengers and State Game Lands 93, this one’s for you.