The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 23, 2013

Flight 93 chapel’s torch will be relit

JOHNSTOWN — Flight 93 Memorial Chapel’s Torch of Liberty will soon shine again.

A rededication ceremony is scheduled to take place tonight, beginning at 7. The torch was reinstalled within the past few days at the little church located near Shanksville.

It is a tribute to the 40 passengers and crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 and all other innocents who perished during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Flight 93 crashed into a Somerset County field.

Three other planes were hijacked by al-Qaida conspirators and slammed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Pentagon.

“I want to make sure the light of freedom – the light of those four planes – will not be forgotten,” said Archbishop Ramzi R. Musallam of the Catholic Church of the East.

The metal torch was removed a few years ago after being hit by an automobile, according to Musallam.

The chapel’s founder, Bishop Alphonse Mascherino, then went through a long battle with cancer before dying earlier this year. Mascherino transferred ownership of the chapel to the Catholic Church of the East toward the end of his life.

Musallam did not know the exact whereabouts of the torch when the church took ownership. He eventually found it was being kept safe by its creator, Somerset blacksmith and artist David Weimer.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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