The Honor Flag makes a stop in San Diego on its way to Arizona where it will pay tribute to 19 Arizona firefighters who lost their life.
In San Diego, California a bustling American Airlines gate fell completely silent as dozens of travelers watched the US Honor Flag be hand-delivered to local authorities. The mood was very somber in the busy airport as many placed a heavy hand over their heart.
The 6-by-4-foot Honor Flag was flown over ground zero the month following the September 11 attacks in New York City. The flag made a brief stop in San Diego on Monday on its way to Arizona where it will pay tribute to the 19 Arizona firefighters who lost their life on June 30th battling a blazing fire.
“A special honor guard team will escort the flag,” said Chris Heisler, the President and Co-Founder of the Honor Flag Network. This Arizona service will mark the second largest ceremony at which the Honor Flag has flown. Over the past year, the flag has appeared at almost 100 events, most of which were memorial services for fallen officers, military members, and firefighters.
This is not the flag’s first time in San Diego. In August 2011, it flew in honor of police officer Jeremy Henwood who was fatally shot while patrolling City Heights. American flags are powerful symbols but the legacy of this flag makes it even more meaningful. The Honor Flag Network takes very special care of the flag and even sewed six microchips into the stitching in case it even goes missing.
The official flag handoff was done behind the pilot seat of the American Airlines flight that safely brought it in. A team of bagpipers played as sheriff’s Cpl. John Kelleher formally accepted the folded US Honor Flag.
Credit: UT San Diego