The Dramatic Work of Rich and Joyce Swingle

Five Bells for 9/11

04.30.23 02:11 PM Comment(s) By Rich

Five Bells for 9/11 is a memorial to those who died and to those who were wounded physically and emotionally on that infamous morning.

Photos courtesy of Ken Bizzigotti of
Times Herald-Register.
The play tells the stories of three people who were directly impacted: Bruce Van Hine, a fire fighter for Squad 41; Lana Ho Shing, a mutual funds specialist for Morgan Stanley, and Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest at the Church of St. Francis.

I've written this piece in such a way as to leave the audience with new, healing memories linked to those that still wound us. Ann Van Hine, the wife of one of the characters in the play said, "We shouldn't be coping, we should be hoping." It is my deepest desire that this play will bring hope and healing to those who experience it.

Arrangements can be made for the play to be performed live in your community. 

You can also schedule Ann Clark Van Hine, the widow of one of the characters in the play, to speak after the performance, and/or have Dominick Crincoli play the song he wrote for the play, "I Will Respond." Dominick could also perform a mini-concert and/or worship service after the play, with or without his band.

I wrote an article about Ann Van Hine: Twenty Years After Our Darkest Day the Light Still Shines

The article was based on this interview with Ann at the 9/11 Memorial: 
I wrote a second article, Memorials of Answered Prayers on 9/11, based on the following interviews:

Gretchen Burkholder tells how Holy Spirit prompted her to pray atop the World Trade Center days before 9/11...

Frank Silecchia talks about finding the Healing Cross of Ground Zero...

Photo courtesy of
Frank Silecchia, who discovered
the Healing Cross of Ground Zero.
The play was performed in or near NYC on the tenth and near the fifteenth and twentieth anniversaries, and Off-Broadway at The Lamb's Theatre on 9/11/02.

That was lovely. Thank you.
--Robert M. Fresco
Academy Award winning filmmaker
Checklosovakia 1968

This show should be done ESPECIALLY on Memorial and Veterans Day. On the latter two official national holidays - we remember those in uniform, but with Sept 11th....Rich’s show reminds us that we must also remember civilians who wore a uniform of 'HONOR' the man who ran towards the towers and not away.
-- Cheryl Felicia Rhoads
The voice of Liberty the Eagle in Star Spangled Adventures
Ben Carson's American Cornerstone Institute

Rich, thanks so much for such a powerful and moving performance and message.
--Melanie M. Jeschke 
 Author of The Oxford Chronicles and Jillian Dare

Wow. I remember being at MasterWorks a year or so after 9/11 and seeing this drama. There wasn't a dry eye in the room - the all guys row behind me was sniffling all throughout. I wish I could see it again, but it made a deep impression on me, and brought healing to our group. Thank you for sharing your gifts.
--Lauri Koenig
violin instructor
Wirth Center for Performing Arts
St. Cloud, MN

Thank you for such a great performance. I lost my friend who was a firefighter. Your performance and sensitivity meant the world to me that night.
--Sara Kronemann
(After Five Bells for 9/11 performed in NYC on 9/11/11)

Rich's play is wonderful, and as the years pass it becomes more important, because now we have a generation that wasn’t born… I was actually born just ten years after World War II, and as a kid learning about World War II, even though my Mom had grown up in World War II, I thought it was as far back as the Revolutionary War. Like it was so long ago, why are these people still talking about it. And I think that’s our challenge. The Bible tells us to tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of our Lord and Savior. This play spreads his glory.* And we need to tell them the God stuff and the history stuff as well. We need to make sure they know.
--Ann Van Hine (widow of Bruce Van Hine, whose story is featured in the play)
*That line quoted in the Times Herald-Register.
Ann said the rest during her talk following Rich's performance commemorating the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

A powerful, powerful performance by Rich Swingle commemorating 9/11 and the unexpected heroes. ... and grab a box of kleenex. 
--Susan Shearer 
Producer, Actor

I watched your 'Five Bells for 9/11' with great interest (and EMOTION). My California community sent me to 9/11 where I worked directly next to Ground Zero to provide sanitation, healthy food and liquid supplies for the NYFD Fireworkers, NYPD and New Jersey's 'Wall of the Blue', EMT's, and so many others because the Red Cross and Salvation Army supplies and personnel 24/7 demands each month afterwards were rapidly depleting. Like everyone else, I worked 22/7 (two hours sleep) for months whereby in between those triple shifts God opened the door to train at the Billy Graham Crisis Center in order to offer Grief Counseling to assist our public servants whose minds, memories, and entire lives were shipwrecked with tumultuous oceans of PTSD. Inside the front cover of my Bible holds one of my most cherished reminders for ongoing prayer to this day: the signatures of those Firemen and NYPD and NJPD I was privileged to assist.
--Barbara X Smith
Master Instructor
Hoffmann Learning Research Institute

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