As the nation marks the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Utahns can remember and reflect at the Sandy Healing field.
“I was just turning 50 years old and I started listening to the radio. You just kinda go into shock a little bit,” said Lane Clark, a Utah resident.
Flags numbering 3,326 cover the grounds. Each bears the names of victims for the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon and flights.
“I get to a point where I have to stop reading some of them because it just gets you. And it becomes real,” said Shauna Jorgensen, Chairman for Utah Healing Field 2017.
Organizers say it’s an opportunity for kids who weren’t alive during the tragedy to learn about it.
“Besides trying to teach what patriotism is in a text book, this is teaching it truly on the field with feeling and emotion and tenderness,” said Jorgensen.
Melissa Thatcher walked around the healing field with her second-grade students from Entheos Academy in Kearns. She read the bios on some of the flags.
“This is Lauren. She was 38. She was on the airplane when she was coming home," Thatcher told her students.
Organizers placed 18 teddy bears on the flags to represent either a child that died or a woman that was pregnant.
“This teddy bear represents a wife, Helen, and she was 5 months pregnant. This represents the baby,” said Thatcher.
People can purchase the flags for $35. All the proceeds will benefit NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“Suicide is a huge issue here in Utah,” said Rob Wesemann, executive director of NAMI. “It affects us all and this really brings us all together to think about what we've been through - also to know there is help out there.”
It will take several hours and and a lot of helping hands to remove all the flags on Tuesday. Organizers are looking for volunteers to help. You can volunteer at the Sandy City Hall on Tuesday, September 12th at 5:30 p.m.
For more information about Utah’s Healing Field, click here: https://www.healingfield.org/UTAH17/