TEMPE, Ariz. — The annual Healing Field at Tempe Beach Park went on display early Friday, ahead of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Almost 3,000 flags dotted the grass, representing the lives lost in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the 2001 terror attack. This marks the 13th year of the display.
Each flag bears a placard with the name and brief biography of the person it represents. The flags will be in place at the park until Sunday night.
Nick Bastian with the Exchange Club of Tempe said visitors to the memorial were from around the United States.
“Maybe they had lost a loved one that day,” he said. “When we’re able to take them over to that flag, with the name of their loved one on there … I’ve seen people break down and cry.”
There will also be boots and ribbons at some flags.
The boots worn in action by service men and women were placed at the foot of the known veterans’ flags.
Blue ribbons honor the flight crews; yellow ribbons honor the first responders. Their flags surround the perimeter of the field, so they’ll continue protecting even in death.
Bastian said hundreds of volunteers get up before dawn to get the Healing Field together.
“To watch this field go from grass, to almost 3,000 flags, within an hour and a half – it’s really a cool experience.”
At 5:46 am Sunday, the names of the 9/11 victims will be read aloud; Sunday night there will be a candlelight vigil to honor those lost.
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