First responders killed in 9-11 to be honored at Kirkwood lake

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI) - It could never have been as breathtaking as the event it commemorated, but seeing 2,996 flags on Art Hill on the tenth anniversary of 9-11 was overpowering.

And a smaller version is about to happen for the 14th anniversary.

'We think it`s a great way to remember and of course we don`t think we should ever forget,' said Rick Randall, a St. Louis construction executive who spearheaded the flag project in 2011.

Each flag contained the name and a photo of the victim on the pole.

But Randall is worried with each passing year the memories are fading.

So this year, from a warehouse in South St. Louis, he is assembling a smaller display of flags, this time commemorating the 388 first responders who died as a result of the attack.

'I think the first responders this time come to mind because the police and firefighters are under a little more pressure these days,' Randall said. 'They just need to be recognized for who they are and what they do.'

Along with being a different size, this year's flag display will be held in a different place: Walker Lake in Kirkwood Park. It`s a smaller venue for a smaller display.

Fittingly, the Kirkwood Fire Department will be taking part in the activities.

'They will be part of the ceremonies to honor their comrades lost on 9/11 and they are bringing their fire truck with a large flag to display as well,' said Kirkwood Parks Director Murray Pounds.

Firefighters will also participate in a ceremony at 10:28 on the morning of the 11th, the time when the last tower fell.

'What they did that day is beyond comprehension really,' Randall said.

Volunteers are needed to put up the flags. Anyone interested should report to Kirkwood Park at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, September 10th.

On Saturday, September 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., a book about the 2011 project, 'Under One Flag,' will be featured at a signing with Larry 'The Flag Man' Eckhardt.

On Sunday, September 13, the flags will be available to the public in exchange for a donation to help support a heroes monument in New York.