San Diego city leaders and military veterans gathered Tuesday downtown to raise a 9/11 Memorial Flag outside City Hall that has made its way across the world.
The 22-foot by 32-foot flag made its final stop of its worldwide tour in San Diego.
Two fire trucks and ladders were used to raise the flag at the west curb of Third Avenue and B Street near the Civic Concourse. It remained there on display all morning through 1:30 p.m.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman were both chosen to sign the memorial flag, just as other dignitaries have done during its tour.
Faulconer was proud that San Diego was included in the flag’s journey.
“Our city is a fitting location for this flag’s last stop. We are a city with such strong ties and support to our military. Our city would not be the city that it is without the huge investments made by our men and women who serve our country proudly every single day and night,” said the mayor. “We are very proud of our veterans in San Diego.”
Faulconer said the flag gives citizens a chance to stop and reflect on 9/11 and how it changed so many lives forever.
“Our city and our nation will never forget,” added Faulconer.
Zimmerman said the flag is a symbol of strength in the face of tragedy.
“Our nation faced evil but came together, drawing strength from one another. When I look at this flag I know that there are thousands of individual stitches and many more individual stories that are all interwoven together,” said Zimmerman. “And together, our flag – our symbol of democracy, our symbol of liberty – stands tall – united in unwavering strength.”
The traveling 9/11 Memorial Flag began as a community project out of Bucks County in Pennsylvania and Hunterdon County in New Jersey to honor the victims of the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks.
Volunteers sewed together 2,983 miniature U.S. flags – one for each victim killed in the attacks – to create the giant memorial flag. The flag also includes smaller flags from every nation that lost a citizen in 9/11 and flags representing the service organizations that aided in recovery and rescue efforts.
The 9/11 Memorial Flag was finished in March 2002. Over the past 13 years, it has traveled to more than 90 locations across the globe and has been seen by more than six million people.