MONTOURSVILLE -- If you live in and around Montoursville, you've probably seen the buttons. Some have teddy bears and some have doves. All of them read, "Forever in Our Hearts, Flight 800, July 17th, 1996."
Sunday marked the 20th anniversary the TWA Flight 800 crash. The plane went down in the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from JFK Airport in New York. 21 people in our area were killed in the crash.
Over the last 20 years, thousands of these buttons have been given out in memory of the victims of TWA Flight 800.
"It gave me something to do because I couldn't do anything else for anybody," Sharon Shutt said.
Shutt sits at her kitchen table at home in Montoursville and makes the buttons. In 1996 she made 1,000 of them.
"My daughter graduated in 1996 and she knew everybody. It never goes away," Shutt said.
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Sharon stopped making the buttons for several years, but a few years ago, a TWA Flight 800 memorial page popped up on Facebook, and all of a sudden the pins were in high demand.
"People just kept Facebooking, 'Where can I get the pins?'" Shutt said.
So Sharon borrowed a pin maker from the school's library and went to work. Last year, Sharon made 250 pins, but that was not enough. People saw the buttons as a way to express remembrance for the crash victims, and they wanted more.
"They gave me donations, which I didn't ask for. It made me able to buy 1,000 more pin parts to buy 1,000 more pins," Shutt said.
Many businesses in Montoursville carry the buttons so they're easily accessible for anyone who wants them.
"Absolutely, we love it," Michelle Dietrick said.
One of those businesses is Frankie's Sub Shop, on Broad Street in Montoursville.
"It was a devastating, devastating thing for everyone in this town and I don't think anyone will ever forget. So it's just nice to see somebody wearing it and you remember someone who you lost," Dietrick said.
The pins are free and available at many businesses in downtown Montoursville.