The town's Public Works Department puts up the memorial every year.
Sept. 11, 2019 marks 18 years since nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon and aboard a hijacked airliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.
Today, Longboat Key honors those civilians with a display of American flags along Gulf of Mexico Drive. If you walk, bike or drive down the Key’s main road, you’ll see the Stars and Stripes about every 20-30 feet.
Mark Richardson, Longboat Key's streets, facilities, parks and recreation manager, said it takes town staffers half a day to put them up. They start after lunch on Sept. 10 and the squad of 10 goes along GMD, staking 2,977 flags total. The number of flags symbolizes the lives lost on in the terror attacks. The flags will remain until Thursday morning.
“I’ve been here 13 years and it wasn’t new when I started,” Richardson said of the tradition begun in the town in 2002.