Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chrysler Foundation Contributes $250,000 to Pentagon Memorial Fund

Posted by: philcrosby on Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Chrysler LLC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Nardelli announced that The Chrysler Foundation contributed $250,000 to the Pentagon Memorial Fund during Military Appreciation Month activities at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

"September 11, 2001 was a terrible tragedy for this country. Our hearts go out to all those who lost a loved one on that tragic day," Nardelli said. "The men and women of the Pentagon, both military and civilian, along with the passengers on Flight 77 deserve to be honored for their sacrifice. Chrysler's contribution to the Pentagon Memorial Fund will ensure that those lives are never forgotten."

Following the September 11 tragedy, Congress enacted legislation authorizing the Secretary of Defense to establish a Pentagon Memorial dedicated to the 184 innocent victims, including Flight 77 passengers and crew, and military and civilian employees who were killed in the terrorist attack.

"I would like to applaud Chrysler for continuing their long tradition of supporting our nation's service members," said Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "Most recently this support has been manifested through Chrysler's Honoring Those Who Serve program and through their latest donation of $250,000 to the Pentagon Memorial Fund. Our nation's men and women in uniform provide an invaluable service to this country. Chrysler continues to honor their bravery and sacrifice."

The memorial is scheduled to be dedicated on September 11, 2008 and features 184 engraved benches that will sit over an illuminated pool of water among clusters of trees on the Pentagon site near the point of impact. The position of the benches will follow the flight path of the American Airlines jet into the Pentagon and benches will be arranged chronologically from the youngest to the oldest victim. As a public monument, the Pentagon Memorial will be open to the general public.
"This is obviously very exciting and we are thrilled that Chrysler LLC wants to be a part of the building of this special memorial," said James J. Laychak, president of the Pentagon Memorial Fund, who lost his brother David Laychak in the September 11th, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. "We have about $4 million left to raise before the dedication ceremony set to take place on September 11th, 2008 but with the generosity of groups like Chrysler I'm more convinced than ever that we are going to make it. I know I speak for all the family members associated with the Pentagon Memorial when I express our sincere gratitude to Chrysler."

Chrysler has a long tradition of support for the U.S. military that stretches back to the creation of the Jeep vehicle prior to WWII and continues today. As a part of its participation in Military Appreciation Month, Chrysler recently announced its military support initiative, "Honoring Those Who Serve," to recognize those men and women who serve in our armed forces. The initiative has three components: Employment, Transportation and Community.

For the Employment component, Chrysler is working with the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs to assist current and former members of the military as they transition into civilian life with training opportunities and posting of available open positions at participating dealerships.

For the Transportation component, Chrysler offers special military-only benefits for its Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge products, crafted specifically for members of the military. These benefits include cash rebates along with enhanced warranties and service plans.

To support the military and general communities, Chrysler has partnered with America Supports You (ASY), a Department of Defense program that connects nonprofit, home front support groups with military men and women and their families. Two organizations that the company has partnered with are the Freedom Calls Foundation and Operation Gratitude, each are ASY home front groups dedicated to improving morale for soldiers and their families. The Freedom Calls Foundation connects troops deployed in Iraq and their families in the United States through videoconferencing, and Operation Gratitude lifts troop morale through the delivery of care packages filled with items donated by citizens in the United States.

The Pentagon Memorial Fund (PMF) was established in 2003 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to assist the Department of Defense with the construction, future maintenance, and financing of the Pentagon Memorial. The Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) holds overall responsibility for the project, with Pentagon Renovation & Construction Program Office (PENREN/C) serving as the project's construction agent.

No comments: