A Searcy man who is part of an organization called Arkansas Community Support is urging residents of White County to participate in a Stand With The Flag rally on Friday around the White County Courthouse and down the sidewalks in memory for lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Davin Alperson said he noticed an article put out by Wreaths Across America recently “encouraging all Americans if possible to stand outside their homes between the times of around 8:30 to 10:30 to hold the flag for the four airliners that crashed during that day [Sept. 11, 2001].”
Alperson said the organization he belongs to is nonpartisan and if it can do anything to help in the community, the members are “for it.”
“We thought what better way to honor this than to take it a step further and get a communitywide event and spread awareness,” Alperson said.
The Searcy Veterans of Foreign War have been contacted about the event as well as White County Judge Michael Lincoln’s office and Alperson said they sound pretty happy with this remembrance.
“It would be awesome to have flags all the way down Race Street. but we’re hoping to fill up the court square and maybe where Chit, Chat and Chew and the Rialto [Theater] are,” he said. “If we can get enough people to do that, it would be amazing.”
For those who will be coming to the event, the times of remembrance with one minute of silence and a flag raising for each of the airline crashes will be as follows: 8:46 a.m. for American Airlines Flight 11; 9:03 a.m. for United Airlines Flight 175; 9:37 a.m. for American Airlines Flight 77: and 10:03 a.m. for United Airlines Flight 93.
“This is open to everybody,” Alperson said. “For those who can’t attend due to disability or distance, we have encouraged people in our group to try to do this in their community as well, but if they can’t participate, they can tackle the ‘all call’ from Wreaths Across America and do it and stand in front of their home as well.”
The idea of this event is to stand with the flag and raise it in the air at the specific times the airlines went down, according to Alperson.
“Normally they would lower it [the flag] but we want to bring honor by raising the flag for a minute of silence so that everybody knows and understands these people’s lives were important, our soldiers lives are important,” he said. “I think now there are two generations who have fought the war on terror. Their entire lives were changed due to this event and unfortunately our younger generation, I guess you can say the people who are in school now don’t really understand the impact this had on the United States because it is not being taught properly and not being remembered properly.”
Alperson said he hopes the 9/11 event helps Searcy come together as a community and let’s all law enforcement, military and emergency service workers realize how thankful the community is for the sacrifices that they have made over the years.
“This just didn’t affect military personnel, it affected all the people, police, EMS and firefighters in New York; some of them are still suffering catastrophic illness because of smoke inhalation and cancer from different chemicals that entered their body while they were rescuing and taking care of our great country,” Alperson said.