An Iconic Piece of History Returns to Ground Zero

An Iconic Piece of History Returns to Ground Zero

It was five in the evening on September 11, 2001. Three New York City firefighters hoisted a small American flag removed from a nearby yacht amid the burning ashes of the World Trade Center.



The iconic moment was captured by photographer Thomas Franklin with a telephoto lens. Franklin reported that the firefighters were approximately 140 meters away and that the debris was almost another 100 meters from that. The 3-by-5 foot flag became a symbol of American hope and resilience. The image was also used in many publications across the world.



However, the flag disappeared just a few hours after the famous photo was taken.



In 2014, History Channel aired a television show called “Lost History” on the the mystery of the flag. Within weeks, an unidentified man dropped off a flag at an the Everett fire station, a city about 30 miles north of Seattle.



After a thorough investigation including DNA analysis, photographic comparisons and eyewitness identification the flag was verified. Now on the 15 anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack, this significant piece of history has returned to New York. Shirley Dreifus, owner of the yacht and the Chubb Insurance co. donated the flag to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
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