Advertisement:
Post a story

History ›
News ›

OCC remembers Sept. 11 with handwoven flag

More than 100 people attended a Sept. 11 ceremony, where individuals tied yellow ribbons along the border of a handmade flag. (Jennifer Delgado/Tribune)

More than 100 people attended a Sept. 11 ceremony, where individuals tied yellow ribbons along the border of a handmade flag. (Jennifer Delgado/Tribune)

Students, veterans and area residents gathered at Oakton Community College to pay tribute to the victims of Sept. 11 by tying 3,000 yellow ribbons to an intricate, handwoven American flag — one thin piece of material for each life lost on the tragic day.

The flag will hang above the Des Plaines-based college’s main entrance, marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Along with brief remarks from Oakton President Peg Lee and Des Plaines Mayor Martin Moylan, the Wednesday memorial also featured a presentation of the American flag by the U.S. Maine Corps Color Guard and a wreath ceremony.

“It’s a day we should never forget,” Lee said. “I think (the flag) is a stunning reminder.”

The handmade red, white and blue banner has a different meaning to Shane Maxton, president of the student veterans club, which put the event together.

(PHOTOS: Sept. 11 ceremony at OCC.)

Having served in Iraq with the Marine Corps, Maxton said he feels differently anytime Sept. 11 or July 4 comes around. He was proud to see so many Oakton students and veterans attend the ceremony.

“To me, it’s honoring the memory of the victims of 9/11, but also the people who died in conflicts,” he said of the flag.

Though they were young at the time, students said the image of the second plane flying into the World Trade Center has always stuck with them. After the event, dozens stayed for the hoisting of the flag and gave a loud round of applause.

“When you’re young, you understand it, but not really,” said Norma Carrillo, 19, of Northbrook. “As you grow up, then you really understand what it meant.”

Riddhi Wagadia, 20, of Des Plaines, said she was thrilled when she learned the school would be commemorating all the lives lost from the terrorist attacks.

Wagadia lived in India 10 years ago and said the event shook her world. As her family began to worry about the well being of her father and uncle who lived in the U.S., Wagadia saw her Muslim friends and neighbors ostracized from the community.

“It was a huge deal for the world when it happened,” she said as she held a yellow ribbon. “It’s kind of an honor to do this.”

Share this story

Recommended stories