Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tree Planting

Living in northeast Ohio, one tends to look forward to all things related to spring once winter hits. This past week we were hit-several inches of snow, icy road conditions, and very cold temperatures resulting in two snow days. A pleasant e-mail came my way this morning from Donna Glessner who is one of the driving forces with The Friends of Flight 93. Donna works tirelessly at the site and with the Friends group. She has done that along with a great group of people from Somerset County since 9/11/2001. Donna told me tree planting days are planned at the site on Friday and Saturday April 19th and 20th and the following Friday and Saturday the 26th and 27th. Final plans at the site call for thousands of trees. Some of them are visible as you travel up the road approaching the Memorial. It is just another reminder that although there is now a permanent memorial, the work is not done. Money still needs to be raised. Trees are and always will be a sign of life. If you go to the site honorflight93.org operated by the National Park Service you will see plans for the future including 40 groves of trees-1 for each hero. It will be a fitting tribute. The thought of spring also makes people start to think about vacations and trips. If you are traveling east this spring or summer perhaps to our nation's capital or to one of the lovely beaches that dot the East Coast consider beginning or ending your trip with a visit to the Flight 93 Memorial. It is an easy jaunt from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. If you were there in years past you will be pleased with the (almost)finished product and the much easier access. Last summer I had the chance to volunteer at the Memorial as a Plaza Greeter which I hope to do again in 2013. In addition our family took a vacation to New York City and we were able to visit not only the 9/11 Memorial, but St. Paul's Chapel which I have blogged about in the past. In addition I was in Washington D. C. in July for an Honor Flight, escorting a World War II veteran. I did not visit, but we passed the Pentagon Memorial. Our school's sixth grade classes constructed two mosaic murals last school year. One mural honors the heroes of Flight 93 and the second one honors the NYC and Pentagon first responders and those who lost their lives in both places. I have blogged before about 9/11 hero Welles Crowther. A recent visitor to our building inquired about him-The Man in the Red Bandanna and I was proud to tell his story again. That incident made me e-mail Matthew Weiss, a NYC film maker who is documenting Welles's story. He is currently looking for an editor. Just today I made another 9/11 connection. I was at a kick-off event for the American Cancer Society's # 1 fund raiser Relay for Life. One of the speakers was Dr. Ian Murphy, a cancer researcher at the Cleveland Clinic. I had first heard Ian speak about 3 years ago at a training session and learned his research is funded from Relay events. More money allows him the opportunity to hire more scientists. Turns out Ian is a native New Yorker and was at the World Trade Center on 9/11. He was a union carpenter at the time and was drafted to help with the rescue. His story was fascinating and if you take the time this spring or summer (or if you are brave enough this winter...-the Memorial is open!) you will hear other fascinating stories about the heroes of Flight 93. If you have the time stay for a presentation from of the NPS rangers.

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