In an act of honor and remembrance, members of the Kansas State community worked together to keep the American flag moving throughout the day on Sept. 11.
The display is a symbol of hope for military service members and civilians alike as they reflect on the losses experienced in the U.S. 17 years ago.
“A moving flag tribute hasn’t been done at K-State yet,” said Fatima Jaghoori, event coordinator for the K-State Veterans Association and sophomore in kinesiology. “I thought it was a great opportunity to provide a tribute for 9/11 as well as get our members active on campus.”
K-State’s Veteran’s Association is working in conjunction with Team Red, White and Blue, a national nonprofit organization aimed at closing the gap between veterans and civilians through physical and social activities.
Scott Dietrich, assistant professor of food nutrition and dietetic health, is the social director of the Manhattan and Fort Riley chapter of Team Red White and Blue.
Dietrich said he started the event as a way of honoring the sacrifice of those who served in addition to uniting the civilian and military communities in the area.
“You typically see a more somber kind of memorial,” he said. “The moving memorial gives people an opportunity to get out there, be visible, and honor the sacrifice of those who served.”
This relay is a smaller version of the national Old Glory Relay, where different chapters of Team Red, White and Blue pass a flag from Boston, Massachusetts, to San Diego, California, in the time between 9/11 and Veteran’s Day.
“I think it gets people’s spirits up,” Jaghoori, a veteran herself, said. “It’s a hard day for a lot of us; there are so many vets who joined right after 9/11. But there’s a lot of younger people who have never served that signed up to carry the flag, and it’s amazing to see.”
Between 50 and 60 people volunteered to help keep the flag constantly moving from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some brought more flags along or even dressed up in their own star-spangled gear.
“When you’re in the military, you wear your flag on the right side because you’re always running toward battle,” Jaghoori said. “If you’re carrying the flag forward, you’re doing the same thing, and you’re paying tribute to all the lives that were lost.”