Posts Tagged With: all for One productions

One Man’s Journey After the Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103

Sharing here the link to an article written by a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter on December 21, 1993, the day ground was broken at Arlington National Cemetery for the building of The Lockerbie Cairn that would memorialize the 270 souls lost on Flight 103, when it was destroyed by a terrorist bomb attack on December 21, 1988.

David O’Reilly’s article tells mostly the story of one man’s journey after the bombing, yet it also illustrates the greater bonding of human souls forged in shared grief and tragedy.

“The Women of Lockerbie,” a 90-minute play loosely based on stories from the aftermath of the bombing of Flight 103, can be seen this weekend at the Allen County Public Library. The production is presented by all for One productions, inc. For ticket information and times, click here.

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The Lockerbie Cairn

The Lockerbie Cairn – Arlington National Cemetery

Approximately eight miles southeast of Lockerbie, Scotland, lies the Corsehill Quarry of Annan, Scotland. On December 21, 1988, it was in the flight path of Pan Am Flight 103, which was destroyed by a terrorist bomb killing all 259 passengers and 11 citizens of the town of Lockerbie. Two-hundred and seventy souls lost in this attack on America.

Five years later, on December 21, 1993, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Arlington National Cemetery for a memorial that would honor the dead. The sandstone blocks for the memorial come from the Corsehill Quarry. They were a gift from the people of Scotland, financed entirely from private donations.

A cairn is a traditional Scottish stone memorial. The Lockerbie Cairn at Arlington is constructed of 270 sandstone blocks fitted together into a circular tower rising eleven feet in the air. It consists of one stone for each person lost in the terrorist attack including 11 Lockerbie citizens killed as fragments of the plane landed on their town. The 259 passengers on the flight included citizens from 22 different countries. Among the 189 Americans on board were 15 active duty military personnel and 10 military veterans. Thirty-five were students from Syracuse University who had been studying abroad.

The sandstone from the Corsehill Quarry was also used in the construction of the base of the Stature of Liberty.

“The Women of Lockerbie,” a 90-minute fictional play loosely based on the events surrounding the attack on Flight 103, is being presented by Fort Wayne’s all for One productions, incthis weekend. For times and ticket information, click here.

Ponder & Chat: How have memorials helped you deal with grief in your life?

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You’ve Gotta Meet “The Women of Lockerbie”

“Our hurts unite us. They define us. They make us not only human, but a family.” Billy Coffey
The year 1988 began with Miami defeating Oklahoma for the college football championship. Two days later Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s longest-serving prime minister of the century. Debi Thomas and Brian Boitano became U.S. Figure Skating Champions. CBS premiered a new show called “48 Hours,” and “Phantom of the Opera” opened at New York’s Majestic Theater. Judge Anthony Kennedy received unanimous approval to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In May of 1988, the Soviets began their withdrawal from Afghanistan. In July, the U.S.S. Vincennes, a naval warship patrolling in the Persian Gulf, mistakenly shot down an Iranian commercial airbus killing all 290 people onboard.  August saw leaders from Iran and Iraq begin talks to end their eight-year war. Earthquakes and hurricanes, nuclear testing and missile launches tested human resilience and faith.
On December 21st, Pan Am’s Flight 103 exploded after leaving Heathrow Airport in London for New York. All 259 people onboard were killed, and 11 more on the ground died as the wreckage fell to earth in Lockerbie, Scotland.
Years later among the hills of Lockerbie roams an American mother looking for the remains of the son she lost in the crash of Pan Am Flight 103.  She is accompanied by her husband, who has kept things together through the required acts of finality that accompany a death, at the expense of his own grief.
The couple encounter the Women of Lockerbie, who are striving against the U.S. Government over the disposition and possession of the clothing found among the crash ruins. They are determined to convert the act of hatred into an act of love by washing the clothing pieces and returning them to the families of those killed.
Playwright Deborah Brevoort wrote The Women of Lockerbie in the structure of a Greek tragedy. The fictional work, though loosely inspired by true events, is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.  It’s powerfully packed with the raw emotions that accompany grief and loss and examples of the individuality of how we walk through it.
Presented by all for One productions, inc. at the Allen County Public Library Auditorium in downtown Fort Wayne, The Women of Lockerbie runs through May 13th.  Tickets may be obtained by calling (260) 622-4610.
Ponder & Chat: When was the last time you were emotionally moved by a play or movie? What was the underlying theme that touched you? How did it relate to your own life story or life lessons?
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First of 52 Dates with Myself – Part II: Emma

“Well Emma, you might become better acquainted with yourself for there will be plenty of time for that.”  ~ Mr. Knightly

While Mr. Knightly chided Emma with the above advice, I’m embracing it as a personal affirmation for the coming year of 52 Dates with Myself.

My first date took me to a presentation Jane Austen’s EmmaThe endearing story was presented by all for One productions, inc., a not-for-profit arts organization whose home theater is the Auditorium of the Allen County Public Library. The 230 seat venue provides an intimate setting for their annual series.

Emma is both witty and charming and provided me with a number of reflective moments. Set in a small town in Regency England, it tells the story of a privileged young woman. Many think highly of Emma, yet there opinions are often exceeded by Emma’s own opinion of herself and her ideas and insights into their lives.  As her friend, Mr. Knightly claims, her main fault is that “she feels qualified to direct others’ lives.

Captured by her charms, yet not deceived by her folly, only Mr. Knightly, a bachelor and neighbor of Emma’s, has the strength of character and loving concern to confront her misguided opinion of herself. Knightly’s honest challenging of Emma’s oft-foolish behavior or guidance to others helps her to recognize the error of her ways. Not wasting the lesson, Emma soon finds her own strength of character and develops a true sense of grace and wisdom.

My reflections from Emma, and my first of 52 Dates with Myself:

  • Embrace getting to know myself, taking advantage of every opportunity, whether sought or brought, to do so.
  • Find and cherish a friend who will speak truth to me out of a heart of loving kindness.
  • Direct my own life.  Welcome personal change and growth.
  • Trust that others can direct their own lives, just as I can direct mine.

What’s one of your favorite plays? What life insights have you taken away from it or another play or movie?

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First of 52 Dates with Myself – Part I: all for One

The full irony in the title of this post only now hit me. My first of 52 Dates with Myself began with a stage play presented by all for One productions, inc.

This past Sunday while searching for ideas for my first date, I stumbled upon a list of events scheduled for the Allen County Public Library. Among those was a production of Jane Austen’s Emma. The last of six shows was set for that very same day at 2:30 p.m.

“Shoot,” I thought, and continued scanning the list. But I came back, clicked through to learn more, called the telephone number given for tickets, and in a spontaneous moment asked, “Why not?” After all, it was Jane Austen’s Emma!

The curtain would go up in 90 minutes. I had to decide quickly to throw aside the work I’d planned for the day – sitting on my bed developing a training workshop for a client– and put myself in good form for my first date. A sense of excitement surged through me even as a bit of guilt staked claim in the back of my mind asking, “Are you sure?”

I recognized this mental tug of war. Hadn’t I played it out on other date opportunities? Should I? Shouldn’t I? Like plucking petals from a daisy, “He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me….” Only this time, it’s, “I love me. I love me not.”

“No! I will make this choice for myself. With clear and intentional purpose, I will decide that I am choosing this opportunity, that I am selecting this activity, that I am setting aside something else – at least for these particular moments of my life.  I will enjoy that I am open to spontaneity. I will recognize that the arts speak to my heart, that stories capture my imagination and emotions. I will pluck the last petal and no matter what end with, ‘I love me.’”

“Yes, I am sure!”

A cold but gloriously sunny winter day greeted me on the drive downtown.  A uniformed security guard greeted me at the front door of the Allen County Public Library.  It was only my second visit to this main branch in the 3 ½ years I have lived here. I was surprised as I had been the first time by its size, scope, and the guard.

When the elevator door opened on lower level 2, I stepped into an unremarkable, windowless, industrial tiled, room furnished with an assortment of tables. My heart sank a little – not quite the elegant theater atmosphere I’d imagined.  “Keep going, you’ve only stepped out of the elevator,” I encouraged myself.

Within three or four steps, a woman with a broad smile greeted me warmly and introduced herself as Sharon Henderson.  Ticket in hand, I relaxed a bit and glanced around to take in my surroundings. A colorful display off to one side caught my eye, and I headed toward it.  A tagline in the display center read, “…impacting our culture for God through the arts.”  Colorful brochures explained in detail various programs of the organization, all for One productions, inc. or afO.

With Sharon Henderson, Executive Director of all for One productions, inc.

Sharon returned to my side and began sharing with me the story of afO. Her warmth and inviting nature made it easy for me to reveal this was my first of 52 Dates with Myself and that I was blogging about it.

Our conversation was interrupted numerous times as Sharon excused herself to personally greet each patron as he or she stepped from the elevator. Nearly all of them she knew by name. Once when she returned, she explained to me that relationships were one of the highest values of all for One. Clearly, she lived this value.

The story of all for One productions, inc. fascinated me, as did my new acquaintance with its executive director, Sharon Henderson. I felt like I had made a wonderful discovery within my hometown and the “show” had yet to begin. So far, I was pleased with my first date.

(For more about all for One productions, inc. and their upcoming performances visit their website at www.allforonefw.org. Current programs include the Character Counts Series: educational assembly programs for schools, Young Playwrights Festival: an annual competition for students, Home Stage Productions: an annual series of stage performances, and The Spotlight Series: an annual spotlight performance of an explicitly Christian work.)

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