Former Pa. Governor Mark Schweiker addresses Latrobe students before Flight 93 observance
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker on Monday spoke to students at Greater Latrobe Senior High about the Flight 93 crash in Somerset County.
He visited the school a day before participating in the 17th anniversary observance of the tragedy near Shanksville that ended one of the terrorist hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001.
Schweiker was serving as lieutenant governor and chaired the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency on that date. He assumed the state’s chief executive office Oct. 5, 2001, when his predecessor as governor, Tom Ridge, was appointed director of the federal Office of Homeland Security in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
Also spurred by the attacks, Schweiker directed the creation of Pennsylvania’s own Office of Homeland Security and convened a Security Council and a Security Task Force to develop anti-terrorism policies at the state level.
The former governor was joined Monday by Dr. Glenn Kashurba, a nationally recognized child and adolescent psychiatrist, in the presentation to students in grades 9-12 in the school’s Center for Student Creativity.
The Flight 93 crash site is located six miles from Kashurba’s office, where he began a practice in disaster psychiatry and volunteered with the American Red Cross in response to the crash. He has written two books related to the event — “Courage After the Crash” and “Quiet Courage: the Definitive Account of Flight 93 and its Aftermath.”
Schweiker returned to Somerset County in July 2002 to help oversee the successful rescue of nine coal miners who were trapped for 77 hours, more than 200 feet underground, in the flooded Quecreek Mine.
He recently was named executive in residence for the Department of Political Science at Rider University in New Jersey, where he obtained a master’s degree in management in 1983 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2004. He also serves on the university’s board of trustees.
Jeff Himler is a
Tribune-Review staff writer.
You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.