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New Yorkers recognize 9/11 response by Helping Arkansas Tornado Survivors Rebuild


A volunteer organization born out of the 9/11 is helping to coordinate one of the largest volunteer service events in Arkansas. Earlier this month, The New York Says Thank You Foundation worked jointly with the Polk County Arkansas Long Term Recovery Committee and the Polk County 4-H Foundation to bring hundreds of volunteers from New York City and across the country to help rebuild Mena, Ark.


The rural town is about 140 miles west of Little Rock, Ark., the state's capitol city.  The town was devastated by a tornado on April 9, 2009 that killed three of the town's residents. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and damaged. To mark the 9th anniversary of 9/11, New York Says Thank You partner with the local organizations and volunteers across the country to help rebuild the town.


Jeff Parness of New York Says Thank You is traveling the nation to restore a U.S. flag recovered from ground zero. Ashen, tattered and blowing in the wind, the torn flag was recovered after the World Trade Center crumbled.  The flag was stitched back together several years later and grew into a symbol that reinforces the same commitment to service and volunteerism experienced across the country and world on Sept. 12, 2001.


On the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the flag will embark on a national tour to be restitched to its original glory. The first stop for the National 9/11 Flag was Mena.


After the flag makes its journey across America, it will return to New York City, where it will be added to the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

By New York Says Thank You