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'Flags of remembrance' | Charlotte honors fallen 9/11 victims

In Uptown Charlotte, nearly 3,000 American flags are on display. Each represents someone who lost their life on 9/11.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In Romare Bearden Park, flags of remembrance wave in memory of those lost loved ones on one of America’s darkest days.  

"Each flag will have the name and picture of someone that we lost when our country was attacked back on 9/11," Edmond Walker with the Firefighter Steven Coakley Foundation said. 

Members of the F.F. Steven Coakley Foundation and local volunteers laid the flags in the park on Friday to prepare for a memorial service on 9/11.

"Something like this was such a tragedy," volunteer Oceanonnia Long said. "I can’t imagine the pain that those families still feel to this day even though it’s been over 20 years."

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The memorial service started at 8 a.m., followed b a special tolling of a bell at 8:46 a.m., 9:03 a.m., 9:37 a.m., 9:59 a.m., 10:03 a.m. and 10:28 a.m.

It represents the exact times when the Twin Towers were hit, when they collapsed, when Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, and when the Pentagon was hit.

RELATED: The United States marks 22 years since 9/11, from ground zero to Alaska

Walker said 9/11 is a time when he reflects on the selflessness of his brother-in-law firefighter Steven Coakley

"He was one that wasn’t even on duty – had just been getting off duty – and jumped on the truck because his call to duty was to save people and help people," Walker said. 

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He said Coakley was trapped and killed in the South Tower while trying to help people get out. 

"It means a lot to me and my family on what we lost, but also how proud and brave all the firemen are that every time you see a fire truck going down the street, they’re running into the building when all us civilians, all we’re trying to do is get out," Walker said. 

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Monday’s memorial also featured a guest speaker and a steel beam from the World Trade Center. The community is invited to sign a replica of the Twin Towers and be a part of the tribute.

The flags of remembrance will be on display until Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m.

RELATED: TIMELINE: Remembering September 11, 2001 — 22 years later

Contact Destiny Richards at drichards5@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookX and Instagram.

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