Tempe Healing Fields: 9/11 victims remembered with flag display

Posted at 9:45 PM, Sep 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 01:49:24-04

In Tempe, hundreds of people gathered Sunday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the lives lost on 9/11.

At Tempe Beach Park, 3,000 U.S. flags stand. They represent the people whose lives were lost in the terror attacks.

“This morning, my daughter woke up, and she told me that she knew what today was," said Chaney Gifford, who attended the event.

Gifford said her 7-year-old daughter learned about Sept. 11, 2001 in school.

“I think it’s really important to teach our children about our freedom and what this day represents for our country," Gifford said.

The flag display at Tempe Beach Park is called the Healing Fields, and it's the 13th year the display has stood in Tempe to remember the victims of 9/11.

“I lost three of them (friends) in the towers when the towers came down, and it doesn’t get any easier," said Hugh Clark, a retired firefighter who trained with the NYC Fire Department in the '80s.

Some were too young to remember 9/11 first hand, but Melissa Schultz said that even though she couldn't comprehend what was happening at just 5 years old, she remembers the look on her mother’s face that day.

“Just seeing my mom so scared just made me feel her pain," Schultz said. "Just seeing her scared made me feel as scared as she was."

Hours after the ceremony, community members continued walking among the flags, reading the names of those who died on 9/11.

“I love the theme of the Healing Fields here because we all heal, but we never forget," Clark said.