Thursday, December 22, 2011

Postcards from the Journey - Day Twelve

While sitting in one of the cleanest, largest, hottest hot tubs in our hotel in Morgantown, WV tonight, at 11:10pm, we are alone!  Hallelujah!   

We left Allentown, PA Hilton Garden Inn at approx 9:30am, another miracle as we’d stayed up until at least 1am FINALLY doing our laundry – oi!  We stopped in Shanksville, PA – the site of the crash of United 93 – and, let me just say, how profoundly awesome – the note that I left read:

Love, Love, Love
There is no greater … when one lays down one’s life for another
Thank you for loving our country Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

“Soldiers, martyrs, saints, ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”   

The temporary memorial – a rusted out tin shed, which was used as a headquarters for the news media on 9/11, held the story, and pictures, and plans for the site, its first phase under construction.

As we stood there silently with others, a sense of reverent awe at the bravery and sacrifice of a few men and women in a time of need, covered this sacredly simple memorial – 40 names on a wall extending towards an American flag - that’s planted at the nose end of where the plane stopped after hitting the ground at an estimated 500 mph.  It cut down 15 feet, and it was necessary to excavate the site a total of 40 feet down in order to retrieve the flight recorders.  Yet remains were found for every person on board.  

Mike and I prayed at the Lookout, of course, along with another group – Greek Orthodox, dressed in suits.  All of us gathered there were reverent – there is ancanny peace int his place.  I was amazed and grateful for the solemnity.  Except for a few children, not a word was spoken – only he wind, and an uncanny peace.

This place, in the middle of nowhere, has become - and will continue to be developed into - a shrine that appropriately depicts the honor due these men and women.  My prayer was that we would “never forget who our enemy is – and won't let down our defenses for a minute.  

We thanked God for these men and women who – in the thick of it – “knew who they were.”  And why?  The writings on the wall in the tin shed states over and ove again that of the 37 calls made by the passengers and flight crew of United Flight 93 – ALL were CALM!  Silent Night – that peace that passes all human understanding.   

God stood right there with them to the very last minute, equipping them for battle, even when the plane went upside down 40 feet above the ground – those last terrifying mintues – then silence – God is with us through it all Imamnual comes!   


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