Matthews International and NFL Legend Rocky Bleier Team Up to Commemorate Those Lost on September 11, 2001

PITTSBURGH, April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Matthews International Corporation (Nasdaq: MATW), a Pittsburgh based company and world-renowned bronze casting company, announced that they have teamed up with NFL Legend Rocky Bleier to honor and remember those who were lost in the events of September 11, 2001. Matthews International has launched a line of distinctive commemorative plaques that are ideal for placement in parks, schools and other public venues to serve as a remembrance to those who lost their lives.

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The plaques which honor the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who lost their lives on September 11th will be used to raise funds and awareness in support of the Flight 93 Memorial and veteran's charities. Each tribute plaque can be customized in various sizes, shapes and finishes with logos and etched halftones. Matthews will debut the plaques at the International Sign Association (ISA) Expo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center on April 27-30, 2011. Rocky Bleier will be signing autographs in the Matthews' Booth #2719 on Friday, April 29th from 1-3:00 PM.

Rocky Bleier played 11 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers compiling over 5000 all purpose yards and 25 touchdowns. Bleier is a Vietnam War veteran, serving with the 196 Light Infantry Brigade. On August 20th, while on patrol in Heip Duc, Bleier was wounded in the left thigh by a rifle bullet when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy. While down, an enemy grenade landed nearby after bouncing off a fellow soldier, sending shrapnel into his lower right leg. He was later awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

"In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, our nation came together in a show of extraordinary unity," said Rocky Bleier. "Creating these plaques is an opportunity for people to come together again to create lasting legacies for future generations. I'm proud to partner with Matthews International in helping to create awareness and raise funds through the sales of these plaques."

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the plaques will go towards the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Flight 93 departed from Newark, New Jersey headed to San Francisco, California with 44 people on board. Less than an hour into the flight, terrorists took control of the flight with the intention of crashing the flight into the White House. The brave men and women of that flight fought to take back the control of the plane. They were able to disrupt the terrorist's plans and broke into the cockpit, but minutes later the plane crashed into a vast meadow in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, destroying the plane and killing all those aboard. "Rocky Bleier built a reputation on character, determination, and hard-work, and the same can be said of Matthews International," said King Laughlin, Vice President for the Flight 93 National Memorial at the National Park Foundation. "We are delighted that both Rocky and Matthews are working together to support a common cause -- the Flight 93 National Memorial." The Flight 93 Memorial will allow Americans to learn about both the people and their actions on Flight 93, as well as commemorate their courageous acts.

Every Matthews product is handcrafted, employing age-old casting techniques with the state-of-the-art manufacturing processes for superior quality. "These plaques allow people and civic groups around the country take part in the creation of tributes that signify our response to the attacks and offer hope for the future," said John Simon, Vice President of Matthews International Architectural Products Division. "9/11 was a defining event in this country's history and these plaques are symbols that speak about the character and resilience we showed as a country and who we are as Americans."


Matthews International Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer principally of memorialization products and brand solutions. Memorialization products consist primarily of bronze memorials and other memorialization products, caskets and cremation equipment for the cemetery and funeral home industries. Brand solutions include graphics imaging products and services, marking products, and merchandising solutions. The Company's products and services include cast bronze memorials and other memorialization products; caskets; cast and etched architectural products; cremation equipment and cremation-related products; mausoleums; brand management; printing plates and cylinders, pre-press services and imaging services for the primary packaging and corrugated industries; marking and coding equipment and consumables, and industrial automation products for identifying, tracking and conveying various consumer and industrial products, components and packaging containers; and merchandising display systems and marketing and design services.

SOURCE Matthews International Corporation