On 9/14 came the heartbreaking realization that Shelley's exemplary life came to an end in its very prime on Sept. 11, 2001, while serving our country at the Pentagon.
The "supermom" who held tea parties for her children would no longer celebrate her wedding anniversary with Donn in Shepherdstown or visit her in-laws in Morgantown.
America's national tragedy of 9/11 also became the Marshall family's personal tragedy of 9/14.
Twelve years later after their overwhelming loss and mourning has come a desire to focus on the compelling insight of that time that most assuredly came from experiencing such a tragedy firsthand.
And that is the desire to look once again through the lens of common unity and purpose that gripped our nation in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.
For the first time in generations there was an extended period of nobility in our treatment of others and even comfort from strangers; we were together and united.
This sincere interest became commonplace and in a manner that most assuredly had been magnified with the Marshall family, who today still hold high appreciation from their experience. It is an experience that has taught them to value time spent together and to welcome a new member of the family, Heather, whom Donn married in 2007.
A devotion to service and to each other remains the focus of this dignified West Virginian family of Drake, Chandler, Heather and Donn Marshall and makes them great Americans.
Swint is a commercial property broker in Charleston.