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Lumber company funds Flight 93 chapel

Friday, August 23, 2002

By The Associated Press

SHANKSVILLE -- A Pennsylvania lumber company will pay for the restoration of a small chapel that honors the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 who died Sept. 11.

An unassigned Catholic priest bought the abandoned chapel in January and began restoring the building using his own money.

The tiny chapel was christened "Thunder on the Mountain, UAL Flt 93 Memorial Chapel" by Al Mascherino of Somerset.

A manager at the Somerset 84 Lumber was assisting with the restoration of the 100-year-old chapel and learned Mascherino was paying for the project.

He called Maggie Hardy Magerko, president of 84 Lumber, who volunteered to pick up the estimated cost of the entire renovation, company officials said.

Magerko will present a check to Mascherino at the chapel for more than $23,000 today at 10 a.m.

Mascherino, 58, is affiliated with the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. He said he was relieved of his chaplain duties during an assignment in Delaware because of illness.

He has cleaned, painted, insulated and wired the chapel in Shanksville, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County.

There have been other donations, including a wrought iron perpetual flame from a local blacksmith, a bell dubbed "Thunder Bell" and stained glass windows.

Nondenominational services will be held at the chapel Sundays, holidays and the 11th of each month, Mascherino said.

The hijackers on Flight 93 are believed to have been trying to fly the plane to Washington, possibly to crash into the White House or the Capitol, when passengers on the plane fought back and the jetliner went down in Pennsylvania. All 44 people aboard, including the four hijackers, died.

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