Date: Feb 01, 2002
Press Release Number: 6-2002
A U.S. flag belonging to the Port Authority that was flying at the World Trade Center on September 11 and was later recovered from the rubble will be prominently featured at Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans.
On Sunday, February 3, it will be displayed at the Super Bowl during the playing of the National Anthem, to be sung by pop star Mariah Carey. Port Authority Police Officers James Hall, Harvey Jarrett and Lt. George Leather will raise the flag, along with members of the New York City police and fire departments.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, \"Since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Americans have displayed their American flags in a proud show of patriotism. This particular flag, however, is as poignant as it is patriotic. It is torn and tattered, but still waves - symbolic of the brave perseverance of this country and the courageous grit of this region.\"
New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey said, \"After the attacks, it was comforting to witness the manner in which Americans responded by assisting victims and their families and displaying the U.S. flag in a sign of renewed patriotism. New Jerseyans will watch with great pride on Sunday when the flag is raised at the Super Bowl.\"
Port Authority Chairman Jack G. Sinagra said, \"The people of the Port Authority have remained unbowed through their ordeal, and though their hearts have been heavy, they have worked tirelessly to serve the people of this region. In many ways, this flag that still flies proudly represents the indomitable spirit of this agency.\"
The flag, which was the only American flag flying at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, was buried for three days in the rubble following the terrorist attacks. The flag was recovered, but rescuers, finding two large tears along the broad red-and-white stripes, turned it over to a National Guard colonel for its ceremonial destruction. After determining by its label that the flag was Port Authority property, the colonel gave the flag to the Port Authority Police Department.
Several members of the Port Authority Police Department became its caretakers, taking the flag to dozens of memorial services for their fallen colleagues. The flag also flew over Yankee Stadium during all three Yankee home victories of the Fall Classic, and at the New York City Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day parades.