Popalis Family History
Friday, September 14, 2001
Pottsville Republican/Evening Herald
Flag is buried in time capsule
Shenandoah pays its respects
BY JOSHUA SOPHY
SHENANDOAH - A celebration of our time took a somber tone Thursday as
the borough buried its Millennium Time Capsule.
And as earth was shoveled atop the black barrel containing the sealed
drum of personal effects and memories of time, a few tears were shed as
"In light of what has happened, preservation of who we are is most
important," Valerie E. Macdonald, president of the Greater Shenandoah Area
Historical Society, said as she led the mid-day ceremony.
Macdonald read a goosebump and tear-inducing letter that she deposited
for the 2026 opener to read.
But the capsule's most visible content when the lid of the barrel is
unsealed will be an American flag.
Macdonald told the future to display the flag "wherever it can proudly
wave. This flag is our most prized possession."
At the same time, she showed insecurity about the future of our nation
and our freedom in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks.
"We pray our country is intact," she said.
Appropriately Macdonald, a New York City native, showed emotion and her
words echoed louder as she reflected on the horrible tragedy's epicenter
in her former home.
One week ago, organizers worried about the capsule's contents, the way
it would enter the ground, its exact location and what people would think
in a quarter-century when it is brought back to the surface.
But Thursday, Macdonald's thoughts, which moved most of the handful of
Shenandoans in attendance to tears, may never have been heard if the
original plans for the capsule had come to fruition.
Below the flag is a collection of news clippings, currency, written
personal thoughts and passages, fashion items and pieces to remember the
time. They included food labels and grocery store circulars, all of which
seemed unimportant Thursday afternoon, but may one day be used as
reference and for education.
For the record, the capsule is buried about 6 feet below the ground,
centered in a patch of soil squared by sidewalk just feet east of borough
hall's main entrance.
The Bicentennial Capsule was brought to the surface following a
baffling day-long search in front of borough hall to locate the vault.
When its contents were unveiled that night, Aug. 7, it was said the new
capsule was to go into the ground a week later.
More time was needed, though, to gather more contents and secure a
reliable seal for the new capsule. A new date, Sept. 6, was delayed
another week for similar reasons.
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