September 12, 2021 - (Photo Album) - Shelby County Chamber of Commerce sponsored group Next Gen - Our Next Generation of Leaders, gathered at the Historic 1885 Shelby County Courthouse on Friday, September 10, 2021, to place flags in honor of 9/11.
Shelby County Junior Chamber of Commerce (JCC) members joined with Next Gen members to assist in placing the flags.
At the onset of the operation, Casey Golden, one of members of Next Gen, asked the JCC audience if they were aware and what they may have learned about September 11, 2001; however, very few volunteered they had any knowledge of what happened.
"The reason why we're aiming to get around 3,000 flags is because that's the number of people who died on that day," said Golden. "It's the number of people who were in the World Trade Center, who were in the Pentagon, and were in a plane crash in Pennsylvania."
Golden described the need for the JCCs to understand why they were helping with the flags.
"In total it was 2,977 people, so each flag is going to represent one soul, one person," said Golden. "Some of us are a little bit older, so we remember that day."
She stated she was in fifth grade, and in class when the attack occurred. Her teacher entered the classroom and announced to her students, "a plane has hit the World Trade Center."
At the end of the school day, her teacher assigned for students to go home and watch the news, because they would remember the event for the rest of their lives.
"Today we just want to come out and recognize those people [who lost their lives] and do our best to honor them," said Golden.
The two groups joined together and commenced to line the flags on the courthouse lawn, and were able to place over 1,000 flags.
Golden later explained some of the motivation for the Next Gen group to take on this responsibility.
"When I was in college at the University of Texas, I was in an organization that did this every year, and we would get up early in the morning on 9/11, and plant the flags in the south lawn at the University of Texas, so that's kind of where we got the idea," said Golden. "There's people all over the world that, and all over the United States that do this."
The goal of Next Gen is to, over the next year, purchase 2,000 more flags to allow for 3,000 flags to be placed on the square every year.