Torch restored to former glory

By Amber Rosado Daily American

The torch restored Photo by Amber Rosado

The torch restored Photo by Amber Rosado

The Flight 93 Memorial Chapel near Shanksville was the site of a service Thursday night to commemorate the restoration of the church’s torch. The torch was previously taken down after being damaged in a car accident five years ago.

Bishop Ramzi Musallam said he worked tirelessly to have it restored.

“I was willing to do whatever it took to find the torch,” he said. The torch was originally placed in front of the chapel by Bishop Alphonse Mascherino, the founder of the chapel. Mascherino died in February.

Musallam said he found the torch at Weimer’s Blacksmith & Welding in Somerset, where it was taken to be repaired.

“I was truly blessed to find the torch there. The light from the torch symbolized the light of our freedoms,” he said.

During the ceremony, Musallam dedicated the torch to his mother, who died a year ago.

Chapel volunteer Carol Love was at the first dedication of the torch with Mascherino. She said the first ceremony was moving, especially the lighting of the torch.

“With the flick of a switch, this huge tower of light lit up the sky. It could be seem from the turnpike on a clear night,” she said.

She said many chapel visitors were sad to see the original torch taken down.

Love said this restoration shows the evolution and growth of the chapel and its visitors.

“Father Al always said to keep our light of freedom burning,” she said.

The chapel has become a destination point for visitors to the Flight 93 Memorial in Stonycreek Township. Flight 93 was hijacked as part of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and crashed in a field. All 40 passengers and crew died. It was likely headed for a target in Washington, D.C.

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