Friday, September 07, 2007

Shelter Bibles and 9/11

Kate Luce Angell is a freelance writer who has a piece titled "Building hope from tragedy: 'Five Bells' brings 9/11 story to Bethel Park" in the 6 September 2007 Pittsburgh Post gazette. The article describes a play written by Rich Swingle about three firefighters killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City. It starts and ends with an Appalachian Trail connection.
"Take Bruce Van Hine's Bibles. The New York City fireman always dreamed of leaving Bibles in the shelters on the Appalachian Trail, and when his wife, Anne, received a large box of New Testaments as a donation, he went on day hikes to parts of the trail in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, placing several books each time.

"Bruce would put them in gallon Ziploc bags, so they wouldn't get wet," Mrs. Van Hine remembered. "And just a week before 9/11 happened, he got back from his latest trip and said, 'I'm all out. I'm going to have to get some more.' "

"Mr. Van Hine was one of thousands to die in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."
And at the end of the article it mentions that Swingle was performing this one-man show one night when one of the audience members gasped at the mention of the Bibles because he had been thinking about doing that himself. And "realized that now he had to do it."

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