The Longboat Key Public Works Department lined 2,974 flags along Gulf of Mexico Drive to commemorate the 2,974 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
On Sept. 11, 2001, the unimaginable happened when terrorists attacked U.S. soil and nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives.
Now, 14 years later, Longboat Key continues to commemorate the 2,974 lives lost on this day. Since 2002, the Longboat Key Public Works Department, in collaboration with the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, lines 2,974 flags along Gulf of Mexico Drive each Sept. 11.
“I think the importance of it is we never forget,” Chamber of Commerce President Gail Loefgren said. “We need to recognize all the lives lost on Sept. 11, and we need to do it every year.”
The Public Works Department spent several hours on Sept. 10 lining up the flags, which are all equally spaced apart. This year, 300 flags had to be replaced, and Ace Hardware owner Reed Savidge donated them free of charge.
“Driving down Gulf of Mexico Drive, it’s worth it,” Loefgren said. “It’s breath-taking, and it’s eye-opening. It blows me away every year.”