JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A symbol of our country's resiliency and strength following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks made its way through Jacksonville International Airport on Friday.
The 9/11 Memorial Flag arrived at 3:30 p.m. from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and dozens of local veterans were waiting to pay their respects.
The 700-square-foot flag is considered a national treasure and has been flown over 76 million miles all over the world.
Created the week after 9/11, the project came together as "United We Stand, United We Sew" in Pennsylvania.
The flag first debuted on the USS Intrepid several years ago.
Each tiny sewn-in flag represents one of the 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93.
"There are over 2,600 small flags making up the one big flag and those flags signify every life lost that day. And the big flags that are on that flag signifies the planes that went down that day," Post Commander Patsey Schreiber, from VFW Post 8385 in Kings Bay, Georgia, said.
Schreiber and her friends were at the airport to the receive the flag.
"It's very emotional for me. I was so nervous," Schreiber said. "To be able to touch a part of history and to take ownership of it for a month is just amazing. It's something I never dreamed would happen."
An emotional salute was given as the flag was carried through the airport on its way to its next destination at the Kings Bay Navy Base in Southeast Georgia.
The flag will be displayed at the base through the end of the month.
"And it's just an inspiration. We are honored to have it come into the post at Kings Bay, at the VFW post, for the month of May," Schreiber said.
The goal is for the flag to eventually be hung in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.