Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Seasoned backpacker and adventurer Yang Lu earned the grand prize in the 2015 Share the Experience photo contest with this image of a sunburst captured at sunrise in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah. Yang has made the outdoors part of his daily life and finds deep connection to the land through his lens.
“My photography is not just for recreation, it is to inspire people to explore these areas." -- Yang Lu
Photo by Yang Lu (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree, or "Sakura," is an exalted flowering plant. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with the evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformation of Japanese culture throughout the ages.
Secretary Salazar Meets With Families of Flight 93 Heroes
Last edited 4/25/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today marked the upcoming eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by meeting with families of the heroes who died on Flight 93, preventing an attack on Washington.
The meeting occurred just days after Salazar announced that the federal government has reached agreement with all of the landowners for all properties needed for the construction of the Flight 93 Memorial.
“As we look forward to beginning the construction of the memorial to these heroic men and women, I want to once again express my sympathy to these families who have suffered the loss of their loved ones and the gratitude of the nation for their heroism, which no doubt saved the lives of many people that terrible day,” Salazar said.
Later in the day, Salazar joined Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in dedicating a plaque honoring the passengers and crewmembers of Flight 93 at the US Capitol Visitor Center.
“It is especially appropriate that this plaque be located at the Capitol since it is believed that the terrorists on Flight 93 may have intended to use the aircraft to attack the Capitol,” Salazar said. “The heroes of Flight 93 prevented that.”
Salazar said he was pleased that construction on the memorial in Shanksville will begin later this fall.
“I am so pleased that we have reached a point where we can build the memorial thanks to the tireless work of the park service, its partners, with the community and with the nation in getting us to this point. I look forward to joining with you as we break ground this fall,” he said.