After more than 42,000 9/11 victims’ families, survivors, rescuers and recovery workers visited the 9/11 Museum during the week of May 15-20, the Museum opened its doors to the world.
To mark Wednesday's public opening, the volunteer nonprofit organization New York Says Thank You Foundation transferred the National 9/11 Flag in a brief ceremony on Memorial plaza.
Firefighters, police, members of the military, and the Foundation participated in the unfurling of the flag before it was carried into the museum’s permanent collection.
Members of the NYPD and FDNY Pipes and Drums led the ceremonial procession as firefighters carried the flag though the main entrance, and in front of the general public waiting in line to visit.
Destroyed in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks, the flag has been restored over the past several years by people touched by other disasters and tragedies including tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas; soldiers and schoolchildren who survived the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas; the family of Martin Luther King Jr.; and veterans of the U.S.S. Missouri in Pearl Harbor.
Threads from the original Star-Spangled Banner flag and a piece of the flag that Abraham Lincoln was laid on after he was shot at Ford’s Theater are stitched into this enormous and very symbolic flag.
“The National 9/11 Flag is a tangible reminder of how this nation came together with such limitless compassion in the aftermath of 9/11. I’m honored to accept it into our permanent collection,” said 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels.
“We want to thank all the supporters and honor guard members and flag tour staff and especially our partners at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, who will share the inspirational message of the National 9/11 Flag for generations to come. The National 9/11 Flag is a powerful visual reminder that love is stronger than hate, ” said Jeff Parness, Founder and Chairman of New York says Thank You Foundation.
It was with that same inspirational tone that Joe Daniels closed the speeches by addressing the children from the Foundation who participated in the ceremony and saying, “That’s why we built this Museum. At the end of the day it is to make sure that our children’s children’s children know what this country went through on 9/11, and equally as important, know how we came together to help one another with absolutely limitless compassion.”