National 9/11 Flag
Anne Byrne, president-elect of the National School Boards Association, put the final stitch in the National 9/11 Flag during a ceremony in April 2013 in San Diego. The New York Says Thank You Foundation, which provides assistance to communities affected by disasters, has been on a 50-state tour with the flag that hung at 90 West Street across from the World Trade Center in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The flag now contains stitches sewn by the family of Martin Luther King Jr., 20 members of Congress, soldiers and schoolchildren who survived the shooting at Fort Hood, and a piece of the flag that covered Abraham Lincoln after he was shot at Ford’s Theatre.
More than 400 people attended the ceremony at NSBA’s annual conference. Among those adding the final stitches to the flag were Byrne, two San Diego elementary school students, retired New York City firefighters, and a Navy commander.
Jeff Parness, founder and chairman of the New York Says Thank You Foundation, said the tour, which started in 2008, was “literally creating history, taking something destroyed on 9/11 and taking it to all the communities to let people do the smallest act of service as a way to get connected to this story.”