Wreaths Across America urges national flag-waving Friday in memory of 9/11 victims
Event also to honor Freeport Flag Ladies for 18-year tradition of waving flag
COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine (WKBT) — Wreaths Across America is encouraging all Americans to stand outside and wave a flag for one minute at 8:46a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m. and 10:03 a.m.
The exercise is intended to fulfill the vow that the nation won’t forget the deadly terrorism that struck on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.
At 8:46 a.m. that day, five hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 11 and flew it into the heart of New York City and the northern facade of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
At 9:03 a.m., five other hijackers flew United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern facade of the South Tower.
At 9:37 a.m., another group of five hijackers flew American Airlines flight 77 into the western facade of the Pentagon in Arlington County, Va.
And at 10:03 a.m., four hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 93 into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pa.
Following the events of 9/11, Elaine Greene, Joann Miller and Carmen Foote were moved to find an old American flag they had stored at home and stand on a hill in Freeport, Maine, waving that flag to honor victims.
These women, who became known as “The Freeport Flag Ladies,” proudly hoisted the Stars and Stripes every Tuesday morning for the following 18 years.
When they retired after their last 9/11 remembrance on Sept. 11, 2019, Wreaths Across America picked up the tradition a week later. The group continues the waving the flag along U.S. 1 in Jonesboro, Maine, on land that the organization’s founder, Morrill Worcester, donated leading to the new Acadia National Cemetery.
Worcester, who also donated land for the cemetery, has added a mile stretch of American flags — 105 in all — on both sides of the road leading to the cemetery. It opened to the public for the first time on Aug. 29, 2020.
“Each Tuesday, we are joined by dozens of members of the local community and curious people stopping to be part of something meaningful,” said Worcester’s wife, Karen, who also is executive director Wreaths Across America.
“Especially over the last six months, this flag waving has taken on new meaning for us all and given a spark of hope and patriotism during this difficult time in our country,” she said.
Participants are encouraged to take videos and photos of their participation and share them with Wreaths Across America, their families and their friends “to help remember, honor and teach the generation born after 9/11 how hard times can strengthen us as a nation,” Karen said.
Use the hashtag #FlagsAcrosstheCountry and #AmericaStrong when posting on social media and tag the Wreaths Across America Official Facebook page.
“My husband and the community’s commitment to the mission and continuation of this important weekly tradition has taken on the additional meaning of American unity during this uncertain time,” she said.
“I hope Americans will see this as an opportunity to not only honor those directly affected by 9/11, but also to follow in the footsteps of The Freeport Flag Ladies,” she said.
Wreaths Across America is the nonprofit organization best known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of the nation’s fallen at Arlington National Cemetery.
However, the organization places more than 2 million sponsored wreaths at more than 2,200 participating locations nationwide and offers other programs throughout the calendar year.
People can sponsor a wreath for $15 at the Wreaths Across America website. Each sponsorship goes toward a fresh balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the headstone of a veteran to mark Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, as National Wreaths Across America Day.
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