Rows of flags covered the grass at the Seventh Annual Healing Field 9/11 Memorial held at Tempe Beach Park. Throughout the park, volunteers put up nearly 3,000 flags representing those killed on 9/11. Each flag bore a card listing the person’s name, age, location and a brief biography. The flags of first responders killed on 9/11 also contained a yellow ribbon. 

Nearly 3,000 flags cover the grounds at Tempe Beach Park.

Nearly 3,000 flags cover the grounds at Tempe Beach Park.

 

Visitors to the memorial silently read the cards as they walked through the rows or explained to their children what each flag meant. Others got into conversations about what they remember about the day and where they were as the events unfolded on 9/11. 

Local resident Gary Bird died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Local resident Gary Bird died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The bio on local resident Gary Bird’s card reads, “Gary Bird took last summer off and spent a good part of it training a new filly named Dani. On September 7, he rode the filly with a saddle for the first time. On September 10, he began a new job as senior vice president at Marsh & McLennan. He was to work out of Phoenix after spending the first two days in New York for meetings.” 

Timothy D. Betterly worked at Cantor Fitzgerald by day and on his off hours devoted himself to his two daughters and his wife.

Timothy D. Betterly worked in the World Trade Center, but in his off hours served as a devoted husband and father.

Timothy D. Betterly worked in the World Trade Center, but in his off hours served as a devoted husband and father.

 Children killed on the airlines also received flags with cards, but at the base of the flagpole also rested teddy bears to honor their memory. A teddy bear rests at the base of 4-year-old Juliana Valentine McCourt’s flag. She and her mother flew on UA Flight  175 bound for California. 

Juliana Valentine McCourt and her mother died on UA Flight 175 bound for California.

Juliana Valentine McCourt and her mother died on UA Flight 175 bound for California.

 Ironically planes from Sky Harbor International Airport continually fly over the Healing Field. This adds an eerie quality to the setting. 

Donated boots rest at the foot of flags representing veterans killed at the Pentagon. 

Donated boots rest at the base of flags representing veterans killed on 9/11 at the Pentagon.

Donated boots rest at the base of flags representing veterans killed on 9/11 at the Pentagon.

 Families, couples, children, volunteers, boy and girl scouts, first responders and military personnel walk the perimeter of the flags and up and down the rows reading biographies, taking photos and talking to each other. Those represented by the flags came from all walks of life and represented all age groups. 

Military personnel, first responders, families, children and couples walk the perimeter of the Healing Field.

Military personnel, first responders, families, children and couples walk the perimeter of the Healing Field.

 The event began Friday, Sept. 10 and lasts through Sunday, Sept. 12.

Advertisements