Iconic American Flag Returns to Ground Zero

Image courtesy of: nypost.com

By Laura Wetherbee

The flag memorably raised at ground zero hours after the Sept. 11 terror attacks is back at the World Trade Center complex after being mysteriously gone for over a decade.

The flag was the focal point of a photo that became a “defining image of patriotic perseverance,” said cbsnews.com.  The image shows three firefighters raising the flag over the rubble.

It is “one of the most emotionally and historically powerful artifacts in the collection,” said Joe Daniels, president of the National Sept. 11 Museum.

According the New York Times, the flag’s whereabouts were unknown until late 2014, after the facts surrounding the mystery were featured on the premiere episode of “Brad Meltzer’s Lost History,” broadcast on H2, a spinoff of the History Channel.

The episode revealed the flag had disappeared on the night of the terrorist attack. Four days later, a man came walking into a fire station in Everett, Wash. with what he believed to be the flag.

The man, named Brian, claimed himself to be a former marine who had been deployed in the Middle East.  He was given the flag by a worker at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who in turn had been given the flag by the widow of someone killed on Sept. 11 in New York.

John W. Cutter, a member of the New York Police Department’s criminal intelligence section who retired as deputy chief in 2004, expressed doubts that the flag came from a widow.  Flags used at burials typically do not have any rope or hardware.

“This leads me to believe that he received the flag in some other fashion and is afraid to say how he got it,” Mr. Cutter said.

Regardless, the flag has returned, to help remember those that were lost on one of America’s most tragic days, and reflect on our country’s changes since the 9/11 attacks.

Mount Saint Mary College (MSMC) held a candlelit vigil on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 in the Dominican Center Chapel.