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Art Hill To Be Site Of 9/11 Tribute

September 07, 2011
A sea of red, white and blue flags are set to flap in the breeze on Forest Park's Art Hill beginning Saturday, Sept. 10.

"The Heartland Remembers" display will feature 2,996 U.S. flags – each 3 by 5 feet on a 10-foot pole – spaced 10 feet apart in rows covering six acres of Art Hill. A plaque on each flag will detail a 9-11 victim – his or her name, age, hometown and photo as well as where he or she died and worked.

On Saturday morning, 100 St. Louis firefighters and policemen and 150 public volunteers will mount the flags on the hill in alphabetical order according to the victims' names. The patriotic project, spearheaded by Kirkwood resident Rick Randall, will be on display until Sept. 19.

The striking tribute will serve as the backdrop for a multitude of 9/11 memorial events on Sunday.

The annual March to the Arch led by Bo Drochelman and followed by an anticipated 3,000 marchers will head to "The Heartland Remembers" memorial around 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. Members of the group will carry two flags – one symbolizing the first responders who have served since 9/11, and one for the military members who have served since 9/11 – to be mounted at the top of the Art Hill display.

The two flags also will pay tribute to the more than 6,000 military members and countless first responders who have given their lives in the line of duty since 9/11. A memorial tribute will be held at 8:46 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 by the city of St. Louis. There will also be a United Way of Greater St. Louis patriotic program at 7 p.m.

"The Heartland Remembers" project volunteers will be taking public donations for the flags from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 19. Proceeds will benefit the Injured Marine Fund.

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