COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – As the National Infantry Museum gears up for their 9/11 commemoration events, they have a handmade flag on display to honor the victims of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93.
The giant flag, measuring 22 by 32 feet, has been displayed in the Pentagon, state capitol buildings, military bases, and museums. It is made up of close to 3,000 small American flags sewn together to represent the victims, as well as flags of each of the first responder organizations that participated in rescue and recovery. The flag is now temporarily hanging in the National Infantry Museum as part of the 20th anniversary commemoration events this weekend.
Curator and Creator of the flag, Thomas McBrien says even as the years pass, he hopes this flag helps the memories live on.
“My hope is, as it is for everybody… is to reflect, remember, and never forget,” McBrien said. “And to support our troops… for their hard service and ultimate sacrifice. That people would get up and put American flags in front of their homes and keep them up there. We need to get back to unity in our country and never forget.”
There are also 86 national flags representing the different countries victims came from, symbolizing the global impact of the attacks. The flag took five months to complete, and McBrien explained what it was like to share the flag with the community.
“It was very very somber, it was very emotional… and it was a healing and a hope for those who were still working — and since then it has traveled throughout the world,” McBrien said.
The President and CEO of the National Infantry Museum signed the flag today, adding a small piece of Columbus to the patchwork.
In addition to the 9/11 memorial flag, the National Infantry Museum is also holding a rededication of its Global War on Terrorism memorial. Following the attacks that triggered the war, nearly 7,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines gave their lives in defense of the U.S.
More than 400 Gold Star family members from across the country will be attending the event. Eleven names of the recently fallen will be added to the monument in a public ceremony at 9 a.m.
The museum additionally has a temporary walk-thru gallery of artifacts from the attacks. The museum will be open from 1 to 5 p.m.