It seems de rigueur on this date to pause to reflect on events long ago.
A dwindling number of elderly Americans can recall first-hand experiences and memories of Pearl Harbor day ...a somewhat larger number can remember the day JFK was assassinated ...today many Americans can remember 'as if yesterday' where they were when the events of September 11, 2001 were unfolding.
The image of representing each life lost on September 11, 2001 with a flag carries a powerful symbolism. Standing tall and rigid. Yet still showing 'life' as each flag billows with the slightest touch of the day's breezes.
Sure, one can imagine the martial jingoism of massed American flags. One can also easily imagine each billowing flag represents the life of one human being killed on American soil that day. One can just as easily imagine any single flag representing one's father or grandmother ...or all one's ancestors.
This memorial event is presented by the city of Des Moines' Park and Recreation Department, a local media company, and the U.S. Air Force. The "Tribute Trail" was placed along the edge of a lake near downtown Des Moines. The "3,213 individual flags, one for each person lost on that day" were an impressive sight indeed.
It will be interesting to see if this particular date in American history has 'legs' similar to other significant American dates and events still remembered and celebrated today. I think the memories, and the public remembrances, will last for many years to come.
NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe
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