Tuesday, September 11

9/11/01 Flight 93 crash site: The wind flipped the Bible open to Psalm 23

Site: "United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11 after passengers attempted to regain control of the aircraft. There were no survivors."

SHANKSVILLE (KDKA - 9/6/11) — One of those who will be in Shanksville this weekend is Lillie Leonardi, a first responder to the scene on that dark day.
What she saw and experienced has haunted her for a decade.
It has also given her personal insight into the triumph of the human spirit.

“In that moment – again, you’re standing there going, ‘Oh my God! Oh, my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Do I have to be here?’”
On Sept.11, 2001, Lillie Leonardi, arriving in a mobile command truck, knew that the field near Shanksville, Somerset County, was as bad as bad could be. She could see it reflected in the eyes of firefighters.
“The first thing that hit me was the smell,” she recalled. “It was a combination of [airplane] fuel and the pine.
The second thing that hit me was we’re in the middle of the wilderness and there’s no sounds of birds.”
On that day, Leonardi was with the Pittsburgh division of the FBI as a community affairs coordinator.
Aside from the blackened forest and smoldering crater, she says she saw something else – a rising mist with shapes inside and silver flickers.
A devout Catholic, Lille wondered if they were angels or even the 40 heroic souls of those on United Airlines Flight 93 who’d fought their hijackers to the end.
Then she, and two men with her, spotted a Bible, barely singed.
“Again, I’m praying, and all of a sudden I said, ‘God just give me a sign that I haven’t lost my mind.’
“And all of a sudden this huge wind came out of nowhere and flipped that Bible open and I remember it flipped open to Psalm 23, ‘The Lord is my shepherd…’ ”

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.
For Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies
Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.


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