Touched by 9/11 Site
Although I had attended the premiere of Universal Studios' "United 93," to be there in person is almost indescribable.
Our first stop was the "Flight 93 Memorial Chapel." This 100-year-old nondenominational chapel served as a seed distribution center after religious services ceased there in 1969.
The interior of the building was stripped to bare studs and transformed into a memorial in just 10 days, under the founder and director, Father Alphonse T. Mascherino, a priest. He sold many personal effects to purchase the chapel. Grants and assistance from local businesses and individuals completed the restoration.
Among displays of tributes, such as a stained glass angel created by Deora's grandmother and a former Marine's medal of honor, are photos of each of the 40 passengers and crew.
A brilliant torch burns each evening in tribute to all who serve or have fallen in defense of American freedom. Guests are invited to ring the Thunder Bell, cast of steel in 1860.
The chapel is now sustained solely by public donations. Father Al can be contacted at "Flight 93 Memorial Chapel, PO Box 142, Shanksville, PA 15560. The web address is www.flt93memorialchapel.org.
Three miles from the chapel, on a hilltop overlooking the crash site, is the temporary memorial. Now looking almost shrine-like and covered in wild flowers and daises, it is the perfect setting to sit on the hand-carved benches containing the passengers' names -- a place to reflect and remember.
Learn more about the site and how you can contribute to the permanent memorial by visiting www.honorflight93.org.
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