1. #1
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    May 2005

    Default 911 Flag Missing

    If this is posted else where let me know...I didnt see it.

    Mystery drapes disappearance of U.S. flag made famous on 9/11

    Rick Hampson
    USA Today
    Aug. 31, 2006 08:06 AM

    NEW YORK - On April 1, 2002, a flag that had become the emblem of American resilience was unfurled in a solemn, wordless ceremony outside City Hall.

    Hours after the Sept. 11 attacks, three firefighters had spontaneously used a U.S. flag taken off a yacht and raised it in the wreckage of the World Trade Center. A newspaper photographer captured the scene, creating a classic image.

    Seven months later, the three firemen were guests of honor as the flag was run up the City Hall pole. But Dan McWilliams, one of the firemen, said softly, "That's not the flag."

    Bill Kelly, the firefighters' lawyer, stared at him. "That's much bigger than the one we put up," McWilliams explained. Kelly says he looked at the other two firemen: "They said, 'No, that's not it.' " The men said nothing more, and the flag flew at City Hall for a week before beginning a tour of police stations and firehouses.

    It was an impostor. Five years after Sept. 11, the day's most famous artifact is still missing.

    "It's a piece of history," says Shirley Dreifus, owner of the yacht from which one of the firemen took the flag. "I don't think the average citizen knows it's missing."

    The flag in the photograph taken on Sept. 11 by Thomas Franklin of The Record of Bergen County, N.J., was 3 feet by 5 feet. The one raised at City Hall - and flown at Yankee Stadium and on warships and once destined for the Smithsonian - is 5 by 8.

    How did the flags get switched? Did someone replace the smaller with the larger at Ground Zero? If so, why? And what happened to the original?

    Photo captured a moment
    The three firemen raised the flag at the darkest hour of one of the darkest days in U.S. history. The twin towers were in smithereens. After six hours of searching, it was apparent there were few survivors.

    As McWilliams walked past a yacht docked on the Hudson River, he spotted an American flag attached to a broken wooden pole. He grabbed it and walked back toward Ground Zero, joined en route by George Johnson, a member of his Brooklyn ladder company, and Billy Eisengrein, whom he'd known since they were kids on Staten Island.

    At Ground Zero, the firefighters found a long metal flagpole jutting at a 45-degree angle from a ledge about 20 feet above the ground. They climbed up and began rigging the flag to the pole.

    They never saw Franklin, who took the picture from about 100 feet away. As he was shooting, he thought of the famous photo of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima in 1945.

    The Record sent the photo to the Associated Press - and through its network to the world. Over the next year the image appeared on U.S. commandos' "calling cards" on the battlefields of Afghanistan, on a postage stamp, on the side of a barn in Upstate New York.

    Within 10 days after it was raised, the flag - or rather, a flag - was taken down by the fire department; the Navy wanted to borrow it for display on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, heading to the Arabian Sea off Afghanistan.

    On Sept. 23, the same flag appeared at a service at Yankee Stadium, where it was signed by Gov. George Pataki, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the fire and police commissioners. Then it was flown off to the Roosevelt.

    In January 2002, Shirley Dreifus called USA Today to say the flag came from the yacht Star of America, owned by her and her husband. The firefighters signed an affidavit confirming that claim.

    In March, as the carrier returned to Norfolk, Va., Johnson and Eisengrein were flown onboard to accept the flag, folded in a triangle, on behalf of the city.

    That summer, Dreifus asked the city to borrow the flag for a firefighters' fundraiser on the yacht. When she got the flag, she realized it was too big to have been the yacht's.

    "I don't doubt it flew at Ground Zero," Dreifus says of the larger flag - it even smelled of smoke. "It just wasn't the one from our boat."

    Pressing the search
    They demanded that the city find the right one. In what Dreifus describes as an attempt to "put some energy" behind the search, they sued the city for $525,000 - the price at which appraisers valued the flag, which originally cost $50.

    The city couldn't find the flag, and the suit was dropped. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he didn't know where the flag was: "I don't know where Osama bin Laden is, either."

    Coincidentally, two flags also were raised on Iwo Jima by different groups of servicemen. The second, larger one was in the Associated Press photo; both are in the Marine Corps collection in Quantico, Va.

    David Friend, a Vanity Fair editor and author of a new book on the visual images of Sept. 11, says he believes the flag was switched within days.

    The three firemen have declined interview requests over the past five years. But Friend's book, "Watching the World Change", quotes Billy Eisengrein as saying that while working at Ground Zero a few days after the attacks, he noticed the flag was gone from the pole: "Who took it down, I have no idea."

    Was the first flag replaced because it was too small? Was it lowered when it began to rain and innocently switched with another flag found at the site? Did someone in the fire department not want to let the Navy borrow it? Once the photo appeared on the front page of the New York Post on Sept. 13, did a thief realize its value? Was Ground Zero in the week after the attack still sufficiently chaotic to allow someone to take the flag unnoticed?

    Dreifus keeps an eye on the Internet to make sure no one tries to sell it: "I think whoever took it down must know what it was."
    Warm Regards,
    Shawn Stoner

  2. #2
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    NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW

    Default Another version....same story...different recollections?

    Seems they've got their flags mixed up....note the discrepancy in the size....

    HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The American flag that was raised by three firefighters over the wreckage of the World Trade Center, one of the most enduring images of Sept. 11, has disappeared.

    After it was removed from the site during cleanup, the flag was believed to have been flown on U.S. ships serving in the war in Afghanistan, then returned to New York City officials in March.

    But the flag that city officials preserved measures 5 feet by 8 feet. The flag the firefighters raised on Sept. 11 measured 4 feet by 6 feet, according to its original owners.

    "It's just a really awkward and difficult situation," said Lark-Marie Anton, a spokeswoman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "What it represents is really what's important."

    Bloomberg has asked city fire officials to investigate what happened to the flag.

    The New York Times reported that city officials had traced the 5-by-8 flag as far back as a Sept. 23 appearance in Yankee Stadium. They believe the original flag may have been accidentally switched or misplaced sometime between Sept. 11 and that event.

    Officials say they are unaware of anyone claiming to possess the original.

    The original flag came from a yacht, the Star of America, that was in a Hudson River marina near the World Trade Center that day. Firefighter Dan McWilliams took it from the yacht and walked back to Ground Zero, where he and two colleagues, George Johnson and Bill Eisengrein, raised it on a slanted pole.

    The scene was captured by Thomas Franklin, a photographer with The Record of Bergen County, and distributed worldwide by The Associated Press.

    The discrepancy about the flag size was discovered last month when the yacht owners, Shirley Dreifus and her husband, Spiros Kopelakis, borrowed the flag for an event on board the Star of America.

    The couple had been preparing to formally donate the flag to the city when they said they noticed the flag was too big to be theirs.

    "It's a mystery," Glen Oxton, an attorney representing the owners said Thursday in The Record. "Who knows what happened to it after the firefighters put it up and the photograph was taken? There was so much activity down there."
    Copyright 2002, The Associated Press

    I think there are bogus stories circulating....
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    NW Ohio
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Nov 2001


    It was sad to open your link Josh and see FDNYRR's post. Miss hearing from him.

  5. #5
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    RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!


    Quote Originally Posted by LadyCapn
    It was sad to open your link Josh and see FDNYRR's post. Miss hearing from him.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Honorary Flatlander


  6. #6
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    RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    May 2002
    Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!

    Unhappy Wiping the tears away ...

    Jon will always be with us, because he is part of our hearts, and we will NEVER forget him.

    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 09-01-2006 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Wiping the tears away
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Honorary Flatlander


  7. #7
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    Dickey's Avatar
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    Feb 2000


    I know, I feel the same way.

    He actually helped get started here. Great man, I'll never forget his kindness.
    Jason Knecht
    Township Fire Dept., Inc.
    Eau Claire, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine

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