Last year at this time, our community was awed by Chris Donahue’s salute to the victims of 9/11. In replaying this video, you’ll revisit this remarkable display—2,977 American flags planted on his lawn on the south side, east end of Clark Lake.
September 11, 2001 started as any other day. Skies were clear on that crisp morning. But 2,977 of those who went to work in the twin towers, the Pentagon, or were on Flight 93 would never return home to their families. The terrorist attack robbed them of life, deprived their loved ones of a lifetime of joy, and awakened a nation to a new chapter in its history.
Chris says he plans to replicate the Clark Lake salute next year, “but with bigger flags.” As Chris embarked on this tribute last year, he began to realize that planting nearly 3000 flags in the shape of a heart took planning—and knowledge. He reached out to Ido Sarig who, while at MIT, helped people conquer the fear of geometry through his website. Ido gave him the geometry and measurements. But the process didn’t stop there. Cody Wallace, a landscaper, stopped by to check on some work he was doing for Chris. Cody helped get the 40 foot area close to square and the 20 degree radius set for the two semi-circles that formed the shape. Mike McKay noticed the activity. Mike explained the precise measurements for a 40 foot square. Mike, and his wife Teresa, brought down 100-foot measuring tapes, along with needed words of encouragement. Neighbor Dr. Ray Clark cut foot-long 2x4s to aid in keeping things aligned. Mike and Jill O’Donoghue also checked in with words of encouragement.
Chris comments: “I’ve always wanted to do this, am exhausted, and couldn’t imagine the size. But what’s interesting is there’s a sense of calmness at the sheer number of people that perished that day—all because someone didn’t like us and wanted to destroy our freedom and liberty.”
Chris says he owes Carmen and Penuche for their patience and amazing behavior to just watch and observe versus run through and play.