PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — JFK Airport in New York, two years ago. Four tons of history – a segment of the World Trade Center North Tower, destroyed on 9/11, is loaded onto a flatbed truck bound for Connellsville.
“Two years ago it arrived in Connellsville on a cold morning,” says Connellsville Area High School teacher Linda Shearer. “And just two weekends ago, it was presented to the community.”
The rusted monument of steel now stands in the high school lobby. The teacher, who is also founder of CAHS Patriots Incorporated, helped bring the towering memento to her school.
“It was the Port Authority, the 9/11 families,” she recalls. “And they saw merit in what we do, and I guess you can say the rest is history, because here it is.”
High school seniors Alexandria Lacombe and Zach Donato pack boxes for soldiers, stationed overseas. The Patriots organization has shipped more than 8,000 such packages.
“We’ve had veterans’ luncheons and different services for veterans,” Alexandria says. “And just different things to raise money to help send packages.”
Zach’s brother and fellow soldiers were in Afghanistan, when packages arrived in time for Christmas.
“They could hang up stockings and stuff like that and just pretend like it was the same exact way we celebrate Christmas over here,” Zach says.
CAHS Patriots also raises money for the Flight 93 Memorial site. A flag that flew over the state Capitol for one day, in honor of the group, it will be auctioned with other items on May 2.
“Members of our group are six to 86, ranging in ages,” Shearer says. “And it’s amazing what each and every person can do.”