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Mall In Columbia Uses Flags To Remember 9/11 Victims

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9-11 flags
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, remembrances large and small will be held around the nation.

Alex DeMetrick reports one of the first hometown events is happening in Columbia.

On the lawn of the Mall in Columbia, thousands of flags will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

“Thirty-three hundred as I understand it.  There’s a flag for each person,” said Blaine Milner, volunteer.

Sponsored by the Mall in Columbia and the local Rotary Club, volunteers carefully lay out a grid.

Howard County firefighters are part of that workforce, in honor of hundreds of first responders killed that day.

“To take a look back at those that paid that ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty in service to others in the community,” said Chief William Goddard III, Howard County Fire Department. 

“I didn’t know anything about it.  I passed by going to my appointment, and I saw the flags.  I knew it had something to do with Sept. 11,” said Michelle McBride.

In its own quiet way, planting thousands of flags moves a number out of the history books and gives that loss a sense of scale.

“When you look back, it’s very dramatic, and you think about each flag being a life.  It really hits home,” said Katie Essing, Mall in Columbia manager.

It’s a tribute designed to catch the eye and the heart.

The display of flags will remain on view through Sept. 11.

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