July 4th - the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave

July 4, 2012

Letter by 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels - July 4th - the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave

On the day we celebrate our nation's independence, our hearts are filled with the patriotic pride of being an American-of being a part of a country that has, in our short existence, bettered the course of human history with a commitment to freedom and liberty for which our sons and daughters have fought and died. There is no more fitting symbol for us to reflect on today than the American flag, which will fly proudly today at local parades and small businesses, atop city halls and state capitols, on front porches and in countless other locations across the country. It will of course also fly over the 9/11 Memorial, as it has every single day since we opened the Memorial to families of 9/11 victims and to almost 3.5 million members of the public just nine months ago.

Since its creation, the flag has united Americans across generations. It has presided over our greatest triumphs and comforted us in times of our greatest tragedy and loss. We have, and always will, turn to it as a constant source of strength.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks, American flags proliferated throughout the country. Whether waving from homes and buildings, as patches on jackets or the bandanas of Ground Zero recovery workers, the flag reminded us of the resilience of the American spirit. We knew that in the aftermath of unimaginable devastation "our flag was still there."

The 9/11 Memorial Museum's collection includes hundreds of expressions of patriotism and tribute. One is the Flag of Remembrance, which was created with photographs of the 9/11 victims transposed onto red, white and blue fabric. I invite you to explore some of the remarkable flags being preserved in the Museum collection, each of which serves as an enduring reminder of the spirit of unity and patriotism that emerged after 9/11. The Museum will ensure that essential story is told for generations into the future.

Explore more examples of the flags in our collection on our Pinterest page>>

As we celebrate this special holiday with friends and family, please join me in taking a moment to gaze upon our flag and remember  the men and women who have fought to protect it and all that it represents for the United States of America.

Warm Regards,

Joe Daniels
President & CEO