9/11 tribute New York American flags firefighters

Friday marks the nineteenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. To mark this solemn occasion, the Stanford, New York Fire Department created a powerful tribute with 2,978 American flags to honor the lives lost on 9/11.

9/11 Tribute Displays American Flags To Honor Victims

The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that the flags were put up outside the Stanford Town Hall in broad rectangle on the grass.

In the middle of the display, 343 red flags were arranged to look like the twin towers. Each red flag represents a firefighter who died in the attacks.

Then 71 American flags were tagged with a blue ribbon to represent the police officers and one Port Authority police dog that were killed.

Finally, an American flag for each civilian killed that day surrounds the twin towers in the display.

Edward Zick Explains How He Got The Idea For This 9/11 Tribute

Vice President of Stanford Fire Company Edward Zick came up with this idea one day while driving through Massachusetts, where he came upon flags in support of local fire departments.

“I said this is going to be a lot of work but I think it would be really neat if we did this at Town Hall… by the end of the meeting there was no way we weren’t going to do this,” Zick said of the moment he told the fire department about his idea.

“Part of it was we wanted to make a history lesson for the kids,” he added. “It’s easy to say we’re never going to forget… but kids nowadays don’t fully understand.”

Special Flag Honors Firefighter Dennis Gilhooly

In between the two towers of the 9/11 tribute, there is an American flag with a firefighter’s helmet and a jacket donning the number 39 beneath it.

Zick said that this is meant to honor Dennis Gilhooly, who died in December of health issues relating to his response to the attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

“One of our firefighters that was a lieutenant in the fire company died of injuries related to 9/11, so we felt like we should have something special, even though he wasn’t part of the 2,978… in our heart we felt something should be dedicated to him,” Zick said,  becoming emotional as he spoke. 

“(Friday) night it came together, I can truthfully say that there wasn’t a dry eye when it was done,” he added. 

Zick went on to say that the entire fire department as well as members of the community came out to press the flags.

“We will never forget our fallen firefighter brothers or the people that were killed in 9/11,” Zick said after taking a moment to compose himself. “It changed our history, it changed how we function in the world because of that day.

“A lot of these people happened to be in the wrong place at the time, a lot of these firefighters didn’t know when they ran into that building that it was going to collapse, and we can’t let that escape,” he added. 

Never Forget 9/11

The display of American flags in Stanford, New York will stay up in front of the town hall through September 19. 

At a time when patriotism and our first responders are under attack, it’s incredibly moving to see such a powerful display honoring the heroes and civilians we lost on September 11.

Related: Vandals Desecrate 9/11 Memorial, Cut Down American Flag

It’s important we all do our part to remember, respect, and honor the victims of September 11.

Never forget.

Remember this? On 9/11, This Small Town Suddenly Welcomed 7500 Stranded Visitors

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