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September 7, 2011

Tiny town becomes American landmark after attacks

(Continued)

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. —

Interviews with residents of the town confirm the fear of another terrorist attack on the country, even possibly near Shanksville.

The Rev. Alphonse Mascherino, pastor of the Flight 93 Chapel at the crash site, said not everyone has gotten over the victimhood reaction to the region’s place in 9/11 history.

“Some almost anticipate that it could happen again,” he said. “It’s in the background of their thoughts.”

John Sotomayor, a retired military officer from neighboring Somerset, agreed the Shanksville crash has caused local anxiety over national security.

“It definitely had an impact,” he said. “But we must trust our military.”

Still, some folk express greater concern about the influx of traffic and tourists. Visitors frequently stop to ask directions to the crash scene, tempting a few locals to point them the opposite way.

A woman behind the counter at Ida’s Store in Shanksville, for instance, recently showed a reporter out the door when the conversation turned to Flight 93.

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Kathy Mellott is a reporter for the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune-Democrat. Contact her at kmellott@tribdem.com.

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