Monday, May 21, 2018
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Flight 93 victim's mother finds comfort through Rossford walkers

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. - Knowing the grief she carries with her, Debbie Borza should have been easy to miss on Sunday among the throng of people who showed up for a private service to remember those who died five years ago aboard United Flight 93.

But Ms. Borza, 52, - whose 20-year-old daughter, Deora Bodley, was the youngest victim of the 40 passengers and crew members killed on the flight on Sept. 11, 2001 - was the one with the wide smile and darting brown eyes looking for four teenagers she had never met in person.

"I've got to find my boys," she said as she scanned the crowd at the temporary memorial overlooking the crash site.

Her "boys," four 17-year-old high school students from Rossford, touched a chord in Ms. Borza two months ago when she read an article about their efforts to raise money for the Flight 93 and ground zero memorials.

In an idea hatched over lunch in their school cafeteria, the four friends - Chad Coulter, Dustin Dean, Tad Millinger, and Brandon Reinhard - pledged to walk 650 miles from their homes outside Toledo to ground zero in New York City, stopping in Shanksville along the way.

Ms. Borza encouraged them regularly, talking with them over the telephone and sending motivational e-mails to their Web site.

After Ms. Borza found the four teenagers on Sunday, she gave them big hugs and accepted a check for $3,500 for the permanent Flight 93 Memorial. She then invited them to accompany her to the crash site, a location typically open only to family members of the victims.

This year has been particularly difficult for Ms. Borza. Besides being the fifth anniversary of her daughter's death, it will be, in just over a week, the first anniversary of the death of her former husband, Derrill Bodley, Ms. Bodley's father. He was killed last Sept. 21 in a motorcycle accident on his 60th birthday, Ms. Borza said.

Accompanied by 10 relatives and friends, Ms. Borza was composed and steady as she described the crash of Flight 93 in detail, even as the teenagers from Ohio and their family members teared up.

But Ms. Borza began to lose her composure when she began explaining why she reached out to the four teenagers two months ago. "I just love seeing my daughter in you," she told them as tears flooded her eyes.

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