FLAGS FOR 9/11 AT Victor Valley College

Simone Graham – Editor: The twelfth annual flag planting event to prepare for 9/11 ceremonies at Victor Valley College took place Labor Day morning starting at 6 a.m.  Representatives from ASB, nursing school students in scrubs,  ROTC in uniform,  VVC staff, family members, and friends and neighbors worked together to write names of victims on tags to slide onto the flags, get the ground prepared for flags, organize participants for flag planting, or just wait for a turn to slide flags into place.  The peaceful setting on the sidewalk full of happy activity next to lake complete with reeds, cattails, and paddling ducks gliding across glassy lake water is a sobering contrast to that chaotic day we all remember so well.  Ceremonies like this remind us that our freedom has not come without a cost.

For those of you who will want to participate next year, the closest place to park is on the west side of VVC in front of the Prem Reddy building close to the bus kiosks. From there, a sidewalk leads to the grass area next to the library.  If you cannot be there at 6 a.m., come when you can that morning as the work continues until 12:00.  At 8:00 in the morning volunteers had completed forty rows out of 110 with twenty flags in each row.  They must start so early because the process takes six hours to complete. If you just cannot open your eyes until you have finished that first cup of coffee, you still have plenty of time to shower and get the kids ready and piled in the car for a 9/11 preparation event that is close by us all. In fact, having families and individual participants arriving at other hours of the morning would be ideal and give early arriving volunteers a break later as the morning passes. Each of you can pick up a tagged flag or two and wait in line together and pay your respects as a family. You will see two long tables piled with flags prepared with red, white or blue tags. Pick a color for your family and get in line with your flags.

The flag layout is well planned and placed within a pre-measured stake and string frame. Volunteers use a long pipe marked at intervals to know where to make holes in the grass with a power drill. It is definitely a process as they carefully place the pipe square with the string guides, drill the right amount of holes (about 8:30 they realized that one row had only 19 flags causing a recount and possible re-drill of some rows completed so far) for twenty flags per column, pull from the line whoever is holding the right tag color for the next flags.

If you missed the flag placing event you can still plan to attend VVC’s Patriot Day ceremony by the library in front of the “United We Stand” monument designed by alum, Joan Sowinski.

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