Families Gather for Dedication of the National Won Jeon Shrine and Commemorative Memorial Service

by Bill & Donna Selig

Last month, Unification News reprinted Dr. Yang’s remarks at the dedication service. In this issue, we reprint the remarks of Rev. Jenkins and some of the testimonies.

During the historic ceremony which took place at the front of the Won Jeon property in Washington, D.C., under green tents erected by the cemetery staff, the families of ascended members had an opportunity to speak.

Kitty Wojcik, whose husband, Tom, went into a final coma at the very moment the terrorists struck the Twin Towers in 2001, said, "Everything when you come down to it -- is how can you love. … I really thank my husband because he was a real man. I wish all you men could be loving people who love your wives, children and love God."

Martyn and Izabela Byrne, parents of Jin Joo, who died while serving on STF in North Carolina, traveled from Washington state for this ceremony. Speaking about their daughter, Martyn said, "My heart is really full at this time. …This year felt like a thousand years. What’s in my heart mostly is gratitude for the culture that we’ve been given by our True Parents of heart, love, beauty, and goodness."

Steve Symonds remembered his wife, Mary, who passed away in 2002. With their son, Will, in the audience, he shared how they first met and how he constantly feels her presence.

Attending with his five sons, Tom McDevitt honored his wife, Soon Ja, by relating Father’s reaction when he heard Soon Ja’s passing was imminent. "Don’t be afraid, don’t hold on, just let her go. She’s going to be with absolute God," which was the term Father used at the God conference on the date she passed, Dec. 27. He testified how Soon Ja, though busy in the spiritual world, is guiding their family, particularly in the recent matching of their eldest son, Macklee.

Mrs. Ichiko Marshall, who traveled from Ohio, attended with eight members of her husband’s family, who live in the DC area. She thanked everyone on behalf of Donald, who passed away in March. She praised her husband and our Won Jeon site.

For more information about the National Won Jeon and how to purchase a plot, contact nationalwonjeon@aol.com. A plot and crypt for two persons currently costs $2,000. The price is scheduled to go up in January 2004.

For more information about the Seung Hwa Ceremony and the National Won Jeon, look on-line at www.nationalwonjeon.com and www.familyfed.org under "references."

There is an important new website for members of the Unificationist faith. Go on-line at www.nationalwonjeon.com and learn about the National Won Jeon Shrine and our rich traditions.