New Yorker Honoring 9/11 Victims through Cross-Stitching Project

New Yorker Honoring 9/11 Victims through Cross-Stitching Project

The cross-stitch project that inspired Saunders to start the Americana Stars Memorial (photo courtesy Doreen Lynn Saunders)

New York resident Doreen Lynn Saunders watched the horrific events of September 11, 2001 unfold from her office building in midtown Manhattan. Like so many across the country and around the world, she felt an immediate impulse to commemorate those who lost their lives that day.

Saunders is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Even before 9/11, she was passionate about quilting and cross-stitching. Those interests inspired her to create a handmade American flag in tribute to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. But even after the flag was complete, Saunders felt she could do more to honor the lives that had been lost. She set to work on a new idea for a much bigger project.

Saunders began her new project in 2003 and titled it "The Americana Stars Memorial." It will consist of nearly 3,000 individual cross-stitched stars, one for each victim of 9/11. The stars will be mounted onto panels—50 in total—with the name of every victim cross-stitched beneath the star it represents. When complete, each panel will be framed and mounted side-by-side to stretch for nearly 200 feet.

Every star is different, in tribute to the individuality of the victims and the global nature of the attacks. Although Saunders has accepted the help of other cross-stitchers from across the country interested in being part of the project, she puts the final stitches on each star herself.

To learn more about the Americana Stars Memorial, visit

By 9/11 Memorial Staff