It was supposed to be Hilda Marcin's flight to a new life.
As a child, she and her parents had escaped Germany when the first whiffs of Nazism were spreading. Marcin, 79, had lived in New Jersey ever since.
But on Sept. 11, aboard United Airlines Flight 93, she was leaving New Jersey for good, headed to San Francisco to move in with her daughter. The airplane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
Marcin, of Budd Lake, N.J., was a special-education aide at Tinc Road School in nearby Mt. Olive but had resigned in June to move, said her daughter, Carole O'Hare.
Marcin's father, a member of the German circus in 1929, had decided to leave Germany after a Jewish woman who worked for the family was taken away by Nazi soldiers, O'Hare said.
In 1943, Marcin married her husband, Edward, a police officer in Irvington, N.J. He died in 1979.
"My mom was the youngest 79-year-old you'd ever met," O'Hare said, noting that her mother loved to dance and would do cartwheels by the pool at the age of 70.
O'Hare and others in her family flew to Pennsylvania after the crash. "It was very sad, but it was also therapeutic," O'Hare said. "We got some soil from the site and saw what a peaceful place it was where the plane crashed. It helped."
Profile courtesy of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE.