American Flag Display Honoring 9/11 Victims Vandalized in Boston

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo credit: Nycowl via Getty Images)

 A youth organization in Boston created a memorial display consisting of 2,977 American Flags in Boston’s Public Garden. The display is meant to honor the victims who died on 9/11. So, they put the memorial display together on Wednesday, just ahead of the 20th anniversary of the tragic terrorist attack.

Just hours later, someone vandalized the memorial as well as the park. This comes just days after another memorial was defaced in California.

CBS News reported that citizens found the defiled American flag display early this morning. Many of the flags had been pulled out of the ground. Some were tossed in a pile on the sidewalk. Others had their miniature masts snapped in half. Additionally, vandals dumped out trash cans and scattered their contents around the park. The vandals even stole signs about the memorial display.

CBS Boston’s Nick Giovanni was on the scene early this morning. He shared a video showing the damaged American flag display with his Twitter followers. It was a sad sight.

Boston PD is currently investigating the crime. However, they have no leads at this time.

Project 351 put the American flag display together. They are a Massachusetts-based youth-led organization that strives to “transform communities, elevate kindness, advance social justice, and gain the courage, compassion, and capabilities to lead change.” This month, they are encouraging acts of kindness and service to honor the victims of 9/11.

There Is a Silver Lining to the Vadalism

There is a silver lining to the vandalism. It brought the community together. However, they weren’t just raising their voices in anger or disappointment. Instead, several people who frequent Boston’s Public Garden stopped to help set the American flag display right this morning. When the local CBS affiliate ran a story about it on their morning news, more locals came to help repair what they could.

Nick Giovanni was there for that as well. He snapped a photo of a local woman re-planting the American flags in the memorial display and shared it on Twitter.

While it’s obvious that comparing this vandalism with the horrors of 9/11 is like comparing a birthday candle to the sun, there is something that links them. If you’re old enough, you remember how we reacted as a nation when the Towers fell. There was a feeling of togetherness. The tragedy brought out the best in many Americans.

For a while, we stood as one. We were angry, we were mourning, we were heartbroken. Most importantly, though, we were together. In a smaller way, the folks who came together to clean up the American flag display showed us all that we can still come together for a common goal.

At Outsider, we love seeing Americans push their differences aside and stand on common ground. So, it’s fine to be angry about the coward who defaced the memorial display. Just don’t overlook the good folks who came together to lend a helping hand. That’s the most important part of the story.