Student organization plants flags to remember


CW/ Hannah Saad

Jackson Fuentes , Contributing Writer

Students in The University of Alabama’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter placed 2,977 flags between Gorgas Library and Denny Chimes to commemorate those who perished 17 years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

For many Americans, Sept. 11 holds significance as a day which will never be forgotten. The Sept. 11 memorial on the Quad was an honorable display of patriotism, said Haylee Joiner, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering.

“I think the display of the American flags on the Quad is a great way to honor the lives that were lost in 2001,” Joiner said. “It stands as a reminder that our nation is still healing from the tragic event that took place.”

Setting up the flags and commemorating the lives of those who died on Sept. 11 is an act of showing respect for the sacrifices that continue to be made, said Joseph Ballard, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in economic policy.

“We kind of realize as a chapter as a national organization a few years ago that many campuses, they don’t acknowledge 9/11,” Ballard said. “We’re going to set up flags on the Quad, one for each person who died on 9/11 just as a simple reminder of past sacrifices and sacrifices that continue to be made across the world.”

The nearly 3,000 flags on the Quad help students and the community reflect on this time in our history, said Ballard.

“It’s definitely a very visual reminder on the Quad of sacrifice that was made,” Ballard said. “I think that just for students and for members of the community as a whole, hopefully they’re going to walk by and see it and provide opportunities to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made.”

As the nation gets further away from an event, it becomes increasingly important to remember the impact that it had, said Katie Carroll, a junior majoring in political science.

“We obviously want to always remember these tragic events that happen in our nation’s history, more and more so as we get farther away from them in time,” Carroll said. “We always want to remember and pay tribute to the lives lost.”

Carroll said she saw multiple people take a photo of the flags or pause to reflect on the tragic events from 17 years ago during the day.

“I’ve seen multiple people throughout the day stop and take a picture,” Carroll said. “It’s just something that you want to stop and think about and remember.”