Destroyed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and put back together seven years later, the National 9/11 Flag made its way to Schoharie County Sunday. Our Maria Valvanis has more on this inspiring piece of history.
SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- Frank Tucker III said, "It's an honor to be able to have it on display and let people see all the things that have gone through with that flag."
Firefighter Frank Tucker III has seen many of those things with his own eyes. One of the first responders at the World Trade Centers, Tucker is now an AmeriCorps VISTA helping with flood recovery. He wanted to bring the National 9/11 Flag to Sharon Springs, as a tribute to the one the Fire Department here does of its own.
"They have a flag on their wall that has the name of every first responder who died the day the towers came down, and I had looked at that, and there's 23 names on that flag that I knew personally," said Tucker.
The massive 20 foot by 40 foot flag hung right across the street from where the World Trade Center buildings stood, and was torn and tattered after the attacks.
"We thought we'd take a piece of Manhattan around the country and have everybody have a helping hand in rebuilding downtown," said 9/11 National Flag Volunteer Honor Guard, Jimmy Sands.
Each patch tells the tale of a different American disaster, stitched on by survivors themselves.
"Some famous places it's been is Pearl Harbor on Pearl Harbor Day where we stitched the Hawaii State patch on the fan tail of the USS Missouri, with Pearl Harbor survivors," said Sands.
Tornado victims in Kansas, schoolchildren who survived the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, and members of Martin Luther King's family, also helped patch the flag back together. Rebuilding, is exactly what people in Schoharie County, can relate too.
"It's an example of what people are doing here in Schoharie, as SALT is helping them piece back together their lives after the disasters of Irene and Lee," said Tucker.
Schoharie Area Long Term Executive Director, Sarah Goodrich said, "We feel a real special tie, not only because we're brothers and sisters of New York State, but because we've both suffered disasters, and had the first responders help us."
The flag has visited all 50 states. Its final resting place will be back home in New York City at the 9/11 Memorial.
To learn more about the flag you can visit its website at national911flag.org.