Recently I read the book “30,000 Stitches” written by Amanda Davis and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport. The book is an amazing story about the American flag that flew over 90 West Street days after the Twin Towers collapsed in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. The flag quickly became tattered, so it was taken down to be retired.
It was stored for many years until a tornado destroyed Greensburg, Kansas. Volunteers from New York went to assist and took the flag with them. Once the flag was in Kansas, volunteers decided to repair the flag with pieces of their flags that were damaged by the storm. The patchwork version of the flag then traveled from one state to another until it visited all 50 states.
As it traveled, in each state volunteers worked to restore the flag back to the original 13 stripes and 50 stars. There were all different kinds of people that helped restore the flag, including teachers, mothers, soldiers, first responders, family members of 9/11 victims and children.
During the flag’s last stop in Joplin, Missouri, on Sept. 11, 2011 (10 years later), 1,067 tornado survivors stitched the flag. When the flag was done it was 30 feet wide and 20 feet tall again with 30,000 stitches and was returned to New York City.
One interesting fact I learned was that one piece of the flag even came from a piece of the flag that President Abraham Lincoln was laid on after he was shot. If you want to visit the flag today, it is on display at the National 9/11 Museum.
This year is the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and author Amanda Davis will be hosting a book tour on social media. Visit www.amandadavisart.com for more information on the tour and book.