Nationally Renowned Sculptor Lei Hennessey-Owen Donates 9'11" Angel to Miracle Valley Vineyard
It was a very still evening on August 28, 2010, at Miracle Valley Vineyard. The customers were gone, the gates were closed and a very private gathering of family and close friends took place. There were members of veterans groups of the VFW, the American Legion, the Guardian Eagles, and Able Forces. Members of the Boy Scouts in uniform were standing there quietly with an American Flag. At exactly 6:00 p.m., just as the sun began to set behind Little Cobbler Mountain, a lone bag pipe began its cry from a nearby hilltop playing the traditional bagpipe song "Minstrel Boy" which is normally reserved for funerals.
The bitter sweet event was in memory of those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Just as each of us has a story of that tragic day, so do the owners of Miracle Valley. There were family members who were first responders in the New York Police and Fire Departments, as well as family members who worked in the towers. They were fortunate that their immediate family did not suffer any loss of lives. However, there were people at the gathering who were not as fortunate that day. One of the New York firemen present lost one of his four firemen sons that day. Two months later, his brothers found him in the rubble and escorted him out of the twisted metal debris. This gathering was for him and all the others who lost their lives on that tragic day.
Miracle Valley Vineyard was honored to have Lei Hennessey-Owen, a famous artist and sculptor, present that evening. Lei received national recognition for the angel sculptures she created for the 911 crash sites (World Trade Center, Shanksville, PA, and the Pentagon).
Lei's goal is to create similar angels and spread them from coast to coast in remembrance of those who lost their lives on September 11th. She has placed angels at American sites where traumatic events have occurred or sites that are used for quiet healing of spirit and body.
Lei Hennessey-Owen discovered the family's connection with the WTC and some of the many healing events that Miracle Valley Vineyard has sponsored for wounded soldiers, veterans and their families. She decided that Miracle Valley would be an appropriate recipient of an angel. From Miracle Valley Vineyard, Lei will be traveling to Fort Hood Texas where she will dedicate another Angel to their victims and their families.
Fr. John Cregan, pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in Alexandria, a highly decorated combat veteran and retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, commemorated the event and dedicated the angel to the memory of those killed on 911 and to all those service men and women who lost their lives in defense of our freedom. As the sun set over the vineyard and the guests began to drift away, the angel picked up the fading light and reflected a subdued, peaceful glow.
Often called the Freedom Angel, the 9'11" angel stands at Miracle Valley as a symbol of hope for all Americans. The Angel now appears as a Virginia tourist destination at: