Kirkwood 9-11 tribute honors first responders

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KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI) - The 14th anniversary of 9-11 will be remembered in a special way in Kirkwood on Friday.

Hundreds of American flags line the path around Walker Lake in Kirkwood Park, each one saluting one of the many first responders who died that day. It was a big job putting all the flags in place. It was the brainchild of Rick Randall. He and some 75 volunteers put the 388 flags around the lake.

“I think (first responders) do a lot for us each and every day they don’t get the credit that they deserve everyday just to say thank in some kind of way is important,” said volunteer Rhonda Burgett.

Volunteers included firefighters, police, and emergency medical personnel.

“We stand by the families, we stand by each other,” said EMT Heather Kloeppel.

Each flag, arranged alphabetical order, carries the name and a photo of the man or woman who died in the line of duty.

“They need to be remembered,” said EMT Kay Graf.

Boy Scott Evan Dobson took part. Evan was born one week and one minute after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center.

“A lot of bravery, because all those first responders lost their lives to try to save other people,” he said.

Randall put together the 10th anniversary salute, in which nearly 3,000 flags were placed on Art Hill for each person who died in the terrorist attack. This time, Randall said he wanted to focus on the first responders who were killed.

“All of those that serve us and keep us safe and healthy are under a little duress right now there’s been attacks from all sides,” he said. “I think we just thought why not really talk about them this year and talk about the 388 who died that day.”

The flags will fly through Sunday afternoon.

“I’m just so grateful to all our first responders and to be able to give back means the world to me,” said volunteer Sarah Martin.

The flags will be sold beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday. The money raised will be used for 9-11 memorials.

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