Area residents gather around the National 9/11 Flag in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on the campus of Missouri Southern University in Joplin during a 9/11 Memorial Service. A part of an historic grassroots restoration, residents were able to add stitches to the flag as an inspiration that would deepen their sense of citizenship and national pride and bolster a spirit of volunteerism. The flag had been one of the largest to fly above the wreckage at Ground Zero in New York and will have its final resting place in the museum that currently is being built at the World Trade Center.
In addition to ordinary citizens the flag had been stitched by survivors of the shooting at Ft. Hood, Texas, by World War II veterans on the deck of the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, by the family of Martin Luther King Jr, and by members of Congress at the US Capitol. Of particular historic significance, a piece of the flag that President Lincoln was laid on when he was shot at Ford's Theater had been stitched into the National 9/11 Flag's fabric.
Earlier in the morning the flag was part of a ceremony at Joplin's Cunningham Park. Afterwards, it was driven by fire truck through the neighborhoods ravaged by the May 22 tornado before being on display at Missouri Southern. (Photo by Ashley Taylor)