The National 9/11 Flag was showcased in the 2nd Battalion Pared in Point Lookout, in which the Long Beach Fire Department and Long Beach Waterfront Warriors took part in Saturday.
Members of Second Battalion — which consists of fire departments from Long Beach, Point Lookout-Lido, Island Park, Oceanside, Baldwin and Freeport — as well as the Warriors and individuals whose family members were killed during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, carried this historic flag through the parade.
The National 9/11 Flag is one of the largest American flags to fly above the wreckage at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the attacks and was stitched back together seven years later by tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas. The flag has been displayed nationwide at small town gatherings to major cultural and sporting events.
“It has become our generation’s Star-Spangled Banner,” said Chas Thompson, and ex-chief and current commissioner of PLLFD.
The flag has been stitched by soldiers and schoolchildren who survived the terrorist shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas, World War II veterans on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, the family of Martin Luther King Jr., 20 Members of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, and thousands of everyday service men and women nationwide. On Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, a piece of the flag that the 16th president was laid on after he was shot at Ford’s Theater was stitched into the fabric of The National 9/11 Flag.
The flag is currently on a journey across America through the 10- year anniversary of 9/11. In May 2011, the flag was presented as the official flag for The Kentucky Derby. Its latest stop was in Point Lookout.
“The Point Lookout-Lido Fire Department and the 2nd Battalion were honored to have the 9/11 Flag in its parade. There was a great Beach Party after the parade with live music, lots of food and drink that was enjoyed by all,” Thompson said.
The parade grand marshals were Honorary Chiefs Lester Kappel, a 54-year PLLFD member and former fire commissioner, and Ludwig Meyer, Sr. a 46 year member and former assistant chief of the Department. In addition, former Chief’s Matt Thompson, Tim Collins, Jeffrey Birnbaum, Dan McAuley, Warren Jaffe, and Brian Powers served as divisional marshals.