Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sara Manley Harvey-We Remember

Sara Elizabeth Manley....she was someone's daughter, someone's sister, someone's friend....and on August 11, 2001...she was someone's bride.
Sara lived and worked in New York City, but during visits with her father, who had retired to Chapel Hill, she fell in love with The Carolina Inn.  She saw it as the perfect place to celebrate her wedding day with family and friends.  Sara left no detail unattended when she married Bill Harvey.  The magenta roses carried by the flower girls matched the magenta napkins on the table, the bridesmaids dresses perfectly accompanied her Vera Wang gown, and she took as much care in the menu planning for her vegetarian guests as she did for the other 120 invitees.  
Sara Manley Harvey-A Father Remembers....WRAL
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Sara and Bill Harvey would have celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last month. Instead, they had a marriage that lasted exactly four weeks.
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September 11, 2001
Sara's office was located on the 92nd floor of the North Building of the Trade Center, directly below the entry point of the plane that struck the building.  She was likely sitting at her desk, with little time to become aware of what was happening before the ceiling caved in on her and the floor collapsed beneath her. It would have been impossible for her to have remained conscious for very long in the fire where she was trapped.
A Brother Reflects....
Sara's brother, John Manley, has spent the past decade wondering what the final moments of his sister's life might have been like...but he is thankful to have had a joyful time with her in the month before her death...
"Sara's family and friends had the chance to celebrate her at a goodbye party, although nobody at the time could have known that her wedding would be a farewell.  Everyone had the opportunity to see Sara at her absolute best. She got to spend the last month of her life basking in the glow of a European honeymoon and the first weeks of domestic bliss."
The Carolina Inn Remembers...
When Kristen Wester, catering manager and Sara's wedding coordinator at the Inn, absorbed the news of Sara's death she vowed that this beautiful bride would always be remembered.
Kristen Wester, Catering Manager
John Manley, Sara's father 
The staff at the Inn planted a lily magnolia tree in the Ann Hill Courtyard so that Sara's family would remember the joyous occasion of her wedding.  It is often adorned with the pink roses that her father leaves for her.
Most of us at the Inn walk past this marker every day.  It is a place that we have reserved in the corner of our little world, a space that is watched over and tended to by careful hands.
The Sara Manley Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Sara was a true humanitarian.  She volunteered for several organizations and was involved in the Fabretto Children's Foundation, a charity that seeks to enable impoverished children and their families in Nicaragua to break the cycle of poverty through education, health, and community involvement.
In the spirit of who Sara was and what she stood for The Carolina Inn started an annual Easter Egg Hunt for kids in the community who might might otherwise not be able to enjoy the Easter holiday and all of its treats.  Project Homestart, Interfaith Council, and Family Outreach Centers of Orange County partner with the Inn to identify participating families.
The Sara Manley Annual Easter Egg Hunt takes place every year on Good Friday.
Kids are treated to games, dancing, face painting, lots of goodies...
and undoubtedly.."a little magic" compliments of Sara.
Sara's tree in bloom
Sara..I don't know what you wanted your life to be...but I do know that your spirit has made a profound impact in the world.
On this day, September 11, 2011, we remember you.
You continue to bring happiness....


  1. A very touching tribute and wonderfully worded.

  2. Sara was like a flower in bloom, always radiant. Wonderful Easter Traditions for NC!

  3. I was there on her wedding day, making her look even radiant than she was. A lovely ray of light. A beautiful person that I shall never forget.