Page Title: World Trade Center Flag
Display your flag at half staff from sunrise to sunset. On December 18th, 2,001 President Bush signed public law No. 107-89 designating September 11th as Patriot Day. The people of the United States are asked to observe Patriot Day with appropriate programs and activities to honor the individuals who lost their lives. In observance, US flags should be displayed at half-staff from sunrise to sunset. Patriot Day should not be confused with Patriot’s Day, a regional holiday celebrated in New England on the third Monday in April which commemorates Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride" on April 19, 1775 and the battle of Lexington & Concord during the Revolutionary War. The Boston Marathon is run on Patriot’s Day every year.
Since the beginning of the World Trade Center disaster, we New Yorkers have been touched by the outpouring of support from strangers everywhere. The site of Americans from our sister states lining up to give blood within hours of the disaster moved us. Look what a girl from the great state of Florida sent us out of the blue. We don't know who she is, or how she happened to pick us.
Thanks, Dear. From the bottom of our hearts and from sea to shining sea.
Here's what we wrote back:
We are so pleased to have the flyer you made for us expressing the thoughts and prayers coming from you and all of our fellow Americans in The Sunshine State of Florida. The towns of New Windsor, where our shop is, and Newburgh, where we live, are so close to New York City that thousands of people here and in the surrounding towns commute to Manhattan every day. Many of the towns around here have become virtual New York City firefighter towns because so many of those folks have moved up here. Sadly our proximity to the city means that many of the World Trade Center victims were our own friends and neighbors. One family in Newburgh lost both a father and a son who worked in the same firm. Our newspapers have been full of personal stories about the people lost and about firefighter funerals. One spirited lady from around here was part of that group that fought with the hijackers in the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. We open the paper and read about the organizations to which they belonged, the scout troops they ran, the sports teams they managed for kids. We see family photos of them holding their young children. We see their young vibrant faces in their fire uniforms and turn out gear. If you like I will send you some of those papers. We see pictures of them in their business suits. We see them laughing and smiling in better times. They are all young. They come from all walks of life. They are restaurant workers and business executives.
Throughout this event, it has meant a great deal to New Yorkers to see that we are not in it alone. We saw people nation wide lining up to give blood, raise money and sending professionals to help with the rescue work. And then there are the very personal expressions of support such as yours. It means the world to us knowing that Americans from sea to shining sea are with us. Here at The Flag Guys we put a message out on our sign saying "The Star Spangled Banner tells of Americans sticking together under siege." Your flyer says the same thing. New York was dealt a horribly devastating blow. But we still have you and all of our neighbors in the great state of Florida.
I am very proud of the flyer you made for us. It is hanging in our store and it will soon be on our web site. It is a sign to the world that there is a precious bond we Americans share which citizens of other countries may not fully understand. The great mayor of New York City, America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, had it right. A reporter observed that in the wake of the disaster political foes in New York had come together in a spirit of common purpose and cooperation. The Mayor said that while we may argue with each other within the family, when the family is attacked, we unite.
Your personal note to us is an expression of that unity.
Thank you so much from your friends and fellow Americans in The Empire State.
Al Cavalari, Prop
Here in the good old U. S. of A.
Over the years I've dealt certainly with tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people. I get a kick out of seeing all the many different types of folks who come in here to buy flags. There seem to be as many different reasons for wanting one as there are people. Sometimes, there are moments even in our common retail setting that are truly moving.
Sunday night we were sitting in the shop catching up on paper work and the shipping. Since we were there anyway, we left the flags out and the open sign showing. A couple of young girls, maybe early twenty-somethings came in. Mind you, most businesses attract a certain demographic. So for example, the farmers stopping in at the feed store tend to look one way and the patrons at those underground nightspots in Manhattan's East Village tend to look another way. Here at The Flag Guys, we're quite used to seeing West Pointers, marines, firefighters, veterans, soccer moms, Boy and Girl Scout families, politicians. Our patrons tend to be older rather than younger. They tend to own homes. Our customers tend to appear what one might call conservative, or conventional. That is to say, you wouldn't give most of them a second glance. When you see someone who appears against type, you take notice.
But in walk these two kids. When the WWII generation was their age, the guys were flying missions over Germany in Liberators and Flying fortresses. The girls were in the service too or working in defense plants. When I was their age I don't think my country was much on my mind at all except to criticize it. Now here are these two representatives of "Generation X". Here they are on a Sunday night. Mind you, our little shop is not in a mall. There is no reason to come to our shop unless you are specifically interested in a flag. They stood out for me certainly because of their youth. They could have been on their way to a night out. Remember that most of our customers are much older. But one especially was noticeable because she had the pierced thing going. You know, with multiple piercings in her ears, and one right in the middle of her chin. Her appearance, as regards hairstyle and dress, along with her demeanor combined to create a cute, thoughtful and expressive way about her. She looked over our depleted selection and carefully picked up a tiny stick flag. Turning it slowly to view it from different angles, she seemed to examine it, and ponder it. She was unlike any of the thousands of people we've had in the shop these last few weeks. And it seemed to be a new experience for her.
She made her purchase, and then curiosity got the best of me. I asked her if she was interested in the flag for political, or sentimental or patriotic reasons. She was a very thoughtful girl. She looked me in the eye, thought before she spoke, and then said something like, "This all has just made me realize how much I love my country."
We witnessed heart-wrenching scenes of kindness at our over run store in the aftermath of September 11. Here is an amazing example that shows you the spirit of New Windsor, the spirit of the great state of New York, and the spirit of our blessed America. Friday 9/14 the line measured in the hundreds and the wait was an hour long. The off duty police officer manning our door said that there was an elderly lady outside giving away free flags. She had lost her husband in World War II, and her son in Vietnam. She wanted the flags from their caskets to fly again. Mind you, funeral flags are folded up into triangles and handed down through generations. But she took these sentimental, irreplaceable heirlooms and gave them away to strangers. Now her loved ones and her loved ones flags are standing watch again. This story on our web site inspired a man in the great Lone Star State of Texas to do the same: "After reading your note I am getting out the flag that was given to my mother when they thought I had been killed in Viet Nam. I was a POW and was lucky to get home. I will give my flag to someone to use. God Bless You All! R.H.P. Houston, TX
Like all Americans we were shaken and stunned by our national emergency. How trivial are our everyday concerns when compared with those endured by the terrified victims in their final moments and by their families now. Their lives are changed forever. New Windsor is within commuting distance from Manhattan. Many of the firefighters who ran into that burning building live around here. Their wives and kids are still waiting. As I wrote this on Thanksgiving day 2,001, we were still seeing funerals and obituaries in our local paper.
When the tragedy happened, America's frustration was palpable. Most of us felt helpless as we watched the rescue efforts on television and wished we could go down there and dig ourselves. But there were really only about three main things most of us could do. Millions of us did them nation wide:
We could give blood, we could write a check, and we could seek comfort in flying a flag. How heartwarming for we New Yorkers to see our neighbors throughout our great sister states lining up to give blood within hours of the events. For our part here at The Flag Guys, how honored we were to see that our products have become a source of solace, unity and defiance for so many. As we watched thousands of people wait on line at our shop, I noticed a common thread. Everyone there was finding comfort in our nation's flag.
How proud are we to be purveyors of America's beloved flag.
Al Cavalari, Prop
By a joint resolution approved December 18,
2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year
as "Patriot Day."
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