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BEACH BECOMES MEMORIAL FOR JETLINER CRASH VICTIMS

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Some come to whisper a prayer, others to seek solace, to somehow soothe the terrible yearning left by so many lives lost.

"If I search hard enough, will I find you?" reads a poem scribbled on a scrap of paper tacked to the boardwalk, 10 miles ashore from where the people aboard TWA Flight 800 met death."I look among the objects you have left behind. Are you alone? Are you at peace?"

During two memorial services, the victims' loved ones and colleagues had presented this sea and shore with tokens like teddy bears, flowers and cards. Fleeting initials, scrawled with shaking fingers in the thick, smooth sand, have long since washed away.

But more than two weeks after the July 17 crash, family, friends and even strangers continue to be drawn. And they continue to leave their tributes: American flags, sympathy notes, holy cards - "We miss you," "We love you," "God bless you."

Faded carnations, roses and daisies scattered in the sand create an imperfect border to a makeshift memorial.

In the center is a candle in a tall, glass holder. "If you find the flame out, please relight it," says the message on a piece of wood stuck in the sand.

Sculpted close by is not a child's sand castle but a sand airplane. Rosary beads are nearby.

Some people - strangers to those lost - said they felt compelled to visit the memorial and don't know why.

"I definitely feel a connection with those people," said Bob Behrens, sobbing as he sat in his wheelchair at the edge of the boardwalk. "Their spirits ascended here."

Rosemary Babitch of neighboring Shirley said she has come to visit almost every day since the crash. "I say a little prayer every day I come," she said.

Anne Dillon brought her 8-year-old son and his friend to the main swimming area. But first, they paused at the memorial, about 50 yards away, to pay their respects.