HISTORY OF THE FLAG

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Those familiar words rang true in New York  in the days following September 11, 2001 when the remnants of a 30-foot American flag hung torn, tattered, and blowing in the wind at 90 West Street across from Ground Zero for the entire world to see.

In late October 2001, Charlie Vitchers, a construction superintendent for the clean up effort at Ground Zero, sent a work crew to take down the tattered remains of the American flag.  The remains were placed in a storage shed where they sat untouched for seven years.

On the 9/11 Anniversary 2008, Charlie, who volunteers as a construction coordinator for The New York Says Thank You Foundation, brought the torn remains of the Flag with him to Greensburg, Kansas, a town 95% destroyed by an EF5 tornado. As hundreds of New York Says Thank You volunteers spent the 9/11 Anniversary weekend helping to rebuild Greensburg, the residents of this small Kansas prairie town joined disaster survivors from across the United States to stitch this very special American Flag back together using flags salvaged from the Greensburg tornado.

In doing so, they literally stitched together the two communities shared stories of tragedy and triumph and created a new and living piece of American History.

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