Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Life Remembered: Deora Bodley

I have volunteered for a second year to write a memorial for Project 2996. Like last year I wanted to remember the heroes from United Flight 93. Dale left it up to each person that volunteered to pick a name(s) of our choice. I chose 2 names from Flight 93 that did not receive a memorial last year.

I first read about Deora Bodley in Jere Longman's book, Among the Heroes. She was an idealistic 20 year old. She was the youngest passenger aboard United Flight 93 and was heading back to California, back to her junior year at Santa Clara University when her life was tragically ended despite the courageous acts of her fellow passengers and crew.

At the tender age of eleven she wrote, "People ask how, what, where, when and why. I ask peace." When I read those words, I remembered what it was like to be a child and have everything as a possibility. I remember thinking I could make a difference and the world could be a better place. At the age of eleven or even twenty there are no boundaries there are only opportunities. That is how this young woman lived her short precious life.

By coincidence, Deora and I share a birthday. She was born on April 8, 1981 to loving parents, Deborah (Bodley) Borza and Derrill Bodley. Her parents divorced when Deora was only two years old. This possibly contributed to her being introspective and wanting to help others. She was active in school, captain of the basketball team her senior year in high school, she participated in an AIDS peer program, and volunteered with the Special Olympics and at her local animal shelter.

As a twenty year old, she wanted a world without war and disease. She lived her life focused on making a contribution to this dream. Her love of writing and her ability to speak fluently in French, contributed to her success while she attended Santa Clara University and participated in America Reads program tutoring children with reading and writing. One of the children wrote, "Deora made the sun shine brighter." She made it a point to help children whenever possible as she did for a pair of Vietnamese twins in the literacy program that came from Toronto. She translated stories from English to French for them. It was obvious Deora had a natural gift in working with children. Her major in college was Psychology and her goal was to become a child psychologist.

Deora was a wide eyed young woman. The world was her oyster. She loved her family and friends and there is no doubt that they love and miss her still. Her life lives on in those she loved and the lives she touched.

"If I would just live for the moment and make every moment count, maybe the future would work out. Maybe that moment would be a doorway to the future." - Deora Bodley, age 13

Deora Frances Bodley
April 8, 1981 - September 11, 2001

Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back, by Jere Longman
Post Gazette
SFBA Flight 93 Memorial
Deora's Candles - features a jazz composition written by her father Derrill Bodley, who passed away in September 2005. Steps to Peace, a song he composed right after Deora's death was later recorded by Dave Brubeck.

Also for Project 2996:

2012: I remember Louis J. Nacke II
2011: I remember Jeremy Glick.
2011: I remember Mark Bingham.
2010: I remember Don and Jean Peterson.
2009: I remember Hilda Marcin.
2008: I remember Toshiya Kuge.
2007: I remember Tom Burnett.
2007: I remember Deora Bodley.
2006: I remember Marion Britton.

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