3,000 flags

Sophie Pressler, Reporter

The drill bits make whirring sounds as they swirl through the soft earth. Several influential school organizations carefully place thousands of flags in the ground. Over 3,000 miniature American flags sway in the breeze. A sea of red, white and blue.

Each year in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks, miniature flags are placed in the ground in front of Klein Oak to remember those who lost their lives. Groups like ROTC, Theatre, NHS, Young Conservatives of America and other helpful students, along with their families, come together early on a Saturday morning to set up flags showing how tragedies really do bring people together.

“I think we ought to recognize what happened on 9/11 and never forget,” Col. Irving J. Leblanc said. “It’s a terrible event in American history that reminds us of why it’s so important to recognize those who defend our people and our country.”

After serving 27 years in the air force, LeBlanc, as a retired veteran, is one of the many who comes year after year to honor the lives lost during the September 11th tragedy. He believes the miniature flags are an important reminder of the fallen as well as the first responders who protect people on a daily basis.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to continue this project for nine years,” Mr. Gary Nelson said. “It shows true dedication and respect in the students of Klein Oak.”

Nelson, history teacher and sponsor of the Young Conservatives of America, started the flag memorial and was proud to see so many continuing the tradition. Every year more clubs and individuals come to help set up the flags.

“Seeing all of the flags really helps to visualize and fully understand how many lives were lost that day,” senior Emily Shrode said.

Theatre Arts was another one of the groups involved in placing the flags. Many of the theatre students had shown up early with cordless drills and other equipment to help with the flags before proceeding to assist with set-building for the next play, showing their dedication to serving their school and commemorating the fallen.

“I think the work that we are doing here is honorable to such a terrible event in our history,” Vincent Purtee, senior involved in NHS and ROTC, said.

All the work done was completely voluntary showing that those who helped did so because they wanted to and knew it was the right thing to do.

“The 3,000 miniature flags placed in front of Klein Oak are as powerful and awe-striking as the flying of the American flag itself,” Leblanc said.