/ Modified sep 11, 2015 1:02 p.m.

Tucsonans Remember 9/11 Attacks with Flag Displays

Community will mark the day with flags, thoughts of those lost in attacks 14 years ago.

UA 9/11 remembrance Spot The University of Arizona College Republicans put nearly 3,000 flags on campus for the fourteenth anniversary of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 in memorial of the lives lost. Some of the flags are arranged to spell out "9/11 never forget." (PHOTO: Julianne Stanford for AZPM)

By Julianne Stanford and Mariana Dale

Listen to a story about the flags flying on the University of Arizona campus:


Members of the University of Arizona College Republicans have set up a memorial on campus with 2,977 tiny flags to honor the memory of the lives that were lost 14 years ago during the attack.

“The goal is basically for people to see the flags and really think about the fact that each one of these flags represents a life lost, a life taken, so our goal is for people to see it, stop, have a moment of silence and remembrance,” said Zoey Kotzambasis , western regional vice chair for the College Republican National Committee and first-year law student.

The display has gotten a powerful response from members of the community in previous years, according the UA’s College Republicans President Ashlee Bierworth.

“It was really remarkable my freshman year, the next day ¬¬we walked by and there was a piece of paper with firefighter’s date of birth and date of death and said ‘never forget’ and they put it through one of the flags,” Bierworth said.

The Young Americans Foundation sponsors the project and over 170 colleges, universities, and high schools signed up to participate in setting up memorials this year.

VA 9.11 flags Spot The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System has partnered with the Senior Corps volunteers to place almost 3,000 flags in remembrance of those that died on Sept. 11, 2001. This was the display in 2014. (PHOTO: Courtesy Southern Arizona VA Health Care System)

Volunteers will line the 6th Avenue fence of the Tucson Veterans Administration campus with almost 3,000 American flags Friday morning to honor those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and the Senior Corps Volunteers have worked together to place the flags for the last three years.

“I think, personally, it kinda reminds people about patriotism and just honoring our country and those who have protected our country and those who have lost their lives,” said Cathi Starr, the volunteer service specialist at the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System.

Sheryl O’Connor works as an accountant for the VA and will help place the flags.

“When the emails came across ... I was immediately there signing up,” said O’Connor, a retired Air Force master sergeant.

“We have to make sure there is a memorial for these people that lost their lives and lost their lives as heroes,” O’Connor said. “Just like our veterans are recognized on Memorial Day and Veterans Day these folks, too, and their families, have to be remembered.”

Listen to Sheryl O’Connor's memory of Sept. 11, 2001


The flags will be on display Friday until 4 p.m.

Julianne Stanford is a journalism student and an intern for Arizona Public Media.

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