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Friday, September 14, 2001
Pottsville Republican/Evening Herald

Flag is buried in time capsule
Shenandoah pays its respects
Staff Writer

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 well.

"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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