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Patriot flag completes its journey

Estacada resident took on leadership role in national tour
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In reality, the patriot flag itself is nothing special. It's definitely large, measuring 56 by 30 feet and weighing 75 pounds, but it still came from humble beginnings. The flag began its life in Escondido, Calif., where it flew for eight months before being donated to the World Memorial in August 2010.

Then the flag took on a life of its own.

The flag was dubbed 'The Patriot Flag' as it began a tour of 50 states in 50 weeks, starting in San Diego just over a year ago.

'The main intent is to portray the message that America has not forgotten about what happened and that we never will,' said Becky Ginsbach, Estacada resident and the media liaison/project assistant for the flag.

That 50-states tour began in California on Sept. 10, 2010. On Aug. 6, 2011, the flag flew in its 50th state, South Dakota, at Mount Rushmore.

Among the stops on the tour was a trip to Estacada back in June, which Ginsbach helped organize before getting involved on a national level.

Now that the national tour has been completed, the flag made a few special stops to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Last Friday and Saturday, the flag flew in Somerset County, Pa., to honor those who perished when United Flight 93 went down in a field after passengers overpowered the plane's hijackers.

On Sept. 11 itself - the 10th anniversary of the tragedy - the flag flew at all three locations directly affected by the terrorist attacks. It began the day in Shanksville, Pa., before being driven up to the Pentagon. After leaving Washington, D.C., the flag flew in Times Square to cap off its amazing day.

While the flag is expected to be retired next month, for people like Ginsbach and those whose lives have been touched, the memory will always remain.

'I hate to be emotional around people,' Ginsbach said, 'but there is just no way of getting around it because it has been an incredible journey, and I am just so honored to have been a part of this.'

For those impacted by the terrible events of that fateful day, the idea of a flag traveling across the country over the course of this past year will always serve as a reminder that Americans will never forget them.

Ginsbach told of the flag being transported by airplane from San Diego to Chicago and then on to Somerset this past week.

The pilot explained to the passengers the significance of the flag and even held a moment of silence for those who were lost.

From San Diego to Chicago, the flag rested in row 9. From Chicago to Somerset, the flag rested in row 11.

'When we went back and looked at our tickets and found where the flag was resting. We knew it had to have been divine,' Ginsbach said, 'because no one set that up on purpose -- not even the flight attendants.'