National 9/11 Flag to Stop at UA on July 8
The National 9/11 Flag will be on display at the UA’s Centennial Hall on July 8 at 10 a.m. during a community rally to raise awareness of the flag and the national restoration efforts in advance of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.
The National 9/11 Flag – destroyed in the aftermath of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 and stitched back together piece by piece by national and local heroes and communities affected by disasters – will make a tour stop at the University of Arizona on July 8.
The New York Says Thank You Foundation, the national custodians for the flag, is taking the National 9/11 Flag on a journey across America.
During its stop at the UA, FDNY firefighters will assist local service heroes in a historic stitching ceremony at Centennial Hall to help sew the restorative Arizona patch onto the National 9/11 Flag. There also will be a piece of Sept. 11 steel available for the public to touch and view.
The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. followed by an open-to-the-public stitching event lasting until 2 p.m. Arizona Public Media will host a live-stream of the event for those unable to attend in person.
The ceremony at the UA will feature Dr. Peter Rhee, medical director of the University Medical Center's Trauma and Critical Care unit and professor of surgery in the UA College of Medicine department of surgery; Britann O'Brien, director of the Southern Arizona Office of the Governor; Col. Brian Hastings, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base 355th Fighter Wing vice commander; and Ron Barber, district director of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's office.
During each stop across the nation, local service heroes in all 50 states will have the historic privilege of adding stitching to the flag to restore it to its original 13-stripe, 20-by-30 foot format using pieces of fabric from American flags destined for retirement in each state.
Members of the public can also participate by donating $5 to "Sponsor A Stitch" to help underwrite the restoration of the flag.
The aim is to restore the National 9/11 Flag by the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, when it will become a part of the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center.
As the National 9/11 Flag travels the country, it has gained stitching by soldiers and schoolchildren who survived the shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, and by World War II veterans on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor.
The flag also has been stitched by descendants of Martin Luther King Jr., and it made history when a piece of the American flag that cradled Abraham Lincoln's head when he was shot at Ford's Theater was stitched into it. The National 9/11 Flag brought together wounded warriors, first responders and members of the national space program to contribute a stitch at The Kennedy Space Center.
The flag also was flown at the funeral of Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl born on Sept. 11 who died in the Tucson shooting this year.
The mission of The New York Says Thank You Foundation is to commemorate the generosity extended to New Yorkers by Americans from all across the country in the days, weeks, and months following Sept. 11 by sending volunteers from New York City each year on the Sept. 11 anniversary to help rebuild communities around the U.S. affected by disasters.