Local News

Fayetteville vet lends a stitch to 9/11 flag

Posted April 6, 2012 11:14 p.m. EDT
Updated April 7, 2012 9:35 a.m. EDT

An American flag, damaged on Sept. 11, 2001, was unfurled in Fayetteville Friday.

— The sight of any American flag, no matter how big or small, is enough to stir emotions. In Fayetteville Friday, an especially poignant version unfurled at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.

In the decade since it flew, tattered but not destroyed, on a building across from ground zero in New York City, the National 9/11 flag has become a symbol of American resilience.

The 30-foot long flag was damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks and suffered further insults during the recovery and clean-up of the site.

The wounded giant was placed in a storage shed for seven years.

Then, another disaster struck, this one in America's heartland. Greensburg, Kansas, was almost flattened by a tornado. On the seventh anniversary of 9/11, the grand old, ragged old flag went to America's heart.

The ladies of Greensburg stitched it back together.

Soon survivors of other American tragedies wanted to add a stitch to these stars and stripes. On Friday, it was Master Sergeant John Masson's turn to take needle and thread. He lost his leg and left hand in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

99-year-old veteran Walter Moess added his hand as well. "They have really made something very nice out of this, haven't they," he said.

A New York City firefighter founded the 9/11 Flag Organization, which cares for the banner.