By Sandra Wojcik Daily American
The mother of a Flight 93 passenger visited the Flight 93 National Memorial Wednesday to fly flags for the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial Foundation and to serve as a greeter for the visitors.
Deborah Bodley, the mother of Deora Frances Bodley was at the memorial to take part in the flag-raising project. Bodley, the vice president of the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial Foundation, is a founding member of the organization.
“The Friends of Flight 93 knew that organization was coming,” Bodley said. “A group of us were the founding members. We wanted to make sure they had local people as well as family members of those who died on Flight 93 to be there at the beginning of the Friends of Flight 93. There were executive positions open so I said I would take vice president.”
The group helps the National Park Foundation raise funds. Their current project raises United States flags.
“Those who donate $93 or more to the foundation’s campaign to complete the memorial will receive the flag which was flown over Flight 93 National Memorial,” said Linda Meyer, a volunteer with the project.
Last year the Friends flew more than 2,000 flags over the memorial and this year they are committed to flying 1,900 flags. The money raised by the campaign goes toward the construction of the visitor and learning centers at the memorial.
Bodley said donating time to the flag-raising project is important to her.
“I’m interested in the completion of the memorial as it was designed,” she said.
Bodley’s daughter Deora was only 20 years old when she died on that fateful morning. She was making her trip home after visiting her friends in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Bodley remembers June of 2002 when she made her first visit to the crash site.
“I came out here to meet my family and bring out Deora’s remains after having them cremated, to distribute to my family,” she said. She had Deora’s ashes placed in little pendants for her family members, which she distributed that day.
“It was about this time of year,” she said, “and I remember the wonderful makeshift memorial, the natural little blue flowers in the fields and the butterflies.”
Bodley said her focus is on the park’s visitors.
“This is their park,” she said. “I am privileged to have Deora as my daughter. It is very special to me to think she is now part of the visitors’ lives.”
Deora was a junior at Santa Clara University where she was majoring in psychology when she died. She was fluent in French. She regularly volunteered with the Special Olympics and also enjoyed playing basketball and participating in track and field.
“She was just an exceptional student who packed a whole life in her short lifetime,” she said.
Bodley said she gets goose bumps when she thinks about all that happened at the 10-year anniversary of the Flight 93 National Memorial.
“It speaks to who the people are here,” she said. “It is amazing what they have done over these years. They have been impacted in ways I don’t know about. It is amazing what they did and continue to do. For me it goes beyond the 40 people who were on that plane. It’s now in the hands of those who come visit here, the hands of those who volunteer here, the park service who works here.”
When her daughter Deora died on September 11, 2001 the family was living in California. In 2006, Bodley moved to North Carolina where her father and sister live. Because of her deep involvement with the Flight 93 National Memorial she makes her home in Maryland, north of Annapolis.
Bodley dedicates her time to a number of projects associated with the completion of the Flight 93 National Memorial. She said the move to Maryland was necessary because of her involvement with the Families of Flight 93 and the building of the memorial.
“There was a lot of time spent in requesting the rest of the money that was a part of the Memorial Act,” she said. “There were some trips to the Hill (Congress) at the appropriate times like when the park service was ready to spend money on the infrastructure of the Flight 93 park.”