Local News

Moore County students aid 9/11 memorial effort

Posted October 18, 2010 6:03 p.m. EDT
Updated October 18, 2010 6:38 p.m. EDT

— For many high school students, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks might seem a lifetime ago.

But the story of one of the four planes that terrorists hijacked that day became tangible and personal on Monday for students at Union Pines High School in Moore County.

Deora Bodley, 20, was one of the passengers aboard United Flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 after passengers overpowered the terrorists and prevented them from flying the plane into a target like the White House or U.S. Capitol.

Bodley's grandfather, Frank Guerra, lives in Moore County, and his wife said she felt compelled to invite a tractor-trailer that is raising money for a Flight 93 memorial to Cameron after she visited the crash site.

"I never met her, but I think she sits on my shoulder," Linda Guerra said of Bodley. "I think that today, to have this today, I think that somewhere she's there."

The tractor-trailer, which bears the names of the Flight 93 passengers, belongs to Scranton, Pa.-based Road Scholar Transport, which has trucks decorated for various causes, including autism and breast cancer.

Although the truck has traveled to schools throughout the Northeast as part of the "93 Cents for Flight 93" campaign, Union Pines High was the first North Carolina school on its itinerary.

Students dropped coins and cash into the collection jars on Monday, and they signed their names to a flag that will fly at the memorial in Pennsylvania.

The memorial is being funded by government money and private donations. The first phase is scheduled to be finished by next September.

"It's inspired me to help others and help put memories out there so people won't forget something like this," Union Pines High freshman Sierra Simms said.

"It makes me feel good that all these people are coming together to help out these people who lost so much in this tragedy,” senior Keith Wiltshire said.

Bodley’s mother, Deborah Borza, now lives in Moore County as well. She described the years since 9/11 as a “moving, inspiring, loving, painful nine years.”

"It's not hard to believe at all," Borza said of the passage of time. "I've been able to keep track of every moment."

Linda Guerra said she hopes the campaign educates students about the heroism of Flight 93 passengers.

“It’s the only plane that knew what was happening to them, and (they) took a stand,” she said.