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'Patriot Flag' to fly in Columbia today

May 12, 2011 9:17:00 AM - thestate.com
Mayor Benjamin welcomes “Patriot Flag” to City Hall

A 30-foot by 58-foot U.S. flag traveling around the nation to commemorate the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and The Pentagon is in Columbia today. The so-called "Patriot Flag" will be suspended above Main and Laurel streets from two Columbia-Richland County Fire Service ladder trucks. A ceremony featuring Mayor Steve Benjamin will begin at 10 a.m.

The flag was to be raised at 9:30 a.m. and displayed through 1 p.m. today.

The flag started its travels Sept. 10, 2010, in San Diego. Organizers of the event plan to travel to a new state every week, then fly the flag in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Penn., on Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The group behind the display typically works with local fire, police and veterans groups in each location.

“It is truly a great honor to be chosen to participate in this national grassroots effort,” Benjamin said in a statement. “I encourage everyone in Columbia and throughout the Midlands to join us as we pay our respects to all those who lost their lives on that horrific day and pledge to keep their memories burning in our hearts forever.”

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