By Sarah Motter
COLUMBIA FALLS, Maine. (WIBW) – Wreaths Across America is calling all Americans to stand out and wave their flags in remembrance of 9/11 on its 19th anniversary.
Wreaths Across America says on Friday, Sept. 11, it is asking every American to stand outside and wave a flag or one minute at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m. and 10:03 a.m.
The organization says at 8:46 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, five hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 11 and flew it into the World Trade Centr’s North Tower, at 9:03 a.m. five other hijackers flew United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower, at 9:37 a.m. another five highjackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington Co., Virginia, and at 10:03 a.m. four highjackers crashed United Airlines Flight 93 into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
According to Wreaths Across America, after the events of 9/11, three women, Elaine Greene, Joann Miller and Carmen Foote, were moved to find an old American flag they stored at their home and stand on a hill in Freeport, Maine, waving the flag to honor the victims. It said the women became known as The Freeport Flag Ladies and proudly waved their flag every Tuesday morning for the following 18 years.
The organization said after the women retired in 2019, it took the helm and continued the weekly flag-waving tradition along U.S. Route 1 in Jonesboro, Maine, on land donated by the organization’s founder Morrill Worcester leading to the Acadia National Cemetery.
According to the organization, since then, Worcester has added a mile street of American flags, 105 in total, on both sides of the road leading to the entrance to the cemetery which opened to the public for the first time on Saturday, Aug. 29. It said Worcester also donated the land for the new National Cemetery to be built in his hometown.
“Each Tuesday, we are joined by dozens of members of the local community and curious people stopping to be part of something meaningful,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America, and wife of Morrill Worcester. “Especially over the last six months, this flag-waving has taken on new meaning for us all and given a spark of hope and patriotism during this difficult time in our country.”
The organization said participants are encouraged to take a video and pictures of them waving their flags and share them to help remember, honor and teach the generation born after 9/11, how hard times strengthen a nation. It said to use the hashtag #AmericaStrong when posting to social media and tag the Wreaths Across America Facebook page.
“My husband and the community’s commitment to the mission and continuation of this important weekly tradition has taken on the additional meaning of American unity during this uncertain time,” said Karen. “I hope Americans will see this as an opportunity to not only honor those directly affected by 9/11, but also to follow in the footsteps of “The Freeport Flag Ladies.”
Wreaths Across America said it is a nonprofit organization known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of the fallen at Arlington National Cemetery. It said it also places over 2 million sponsored wreaths at over 2200 participating locations nationwide and offers other programs throughout the year. It said the programs remember 9/11 in their own way.
According to Wreaths Across America, residents can sponsor a wreath for $15 here. It said each sponsorship goes toward a fresh balsam veteran’s wreath that will be placed on the headstone of an American hero as it works to honor all veterans laid to rest.