American flags flying across Provo in honor of 9/11

American flags line the walkways between the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building and the Harold B. Lee Library on BYU campus in honor of 9/11. (Aubry Black)

This weekend, banners of red, white and blue will be flying high all across Provo to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

On Wednesday, Provo City announced that a giant American Flag will be hung over Rock Canyon. It will be flying over the canyon from Friday, Sept. 10, until Monday, Sept. 13.

Follow the Flag, a non-profit organization, put up the large display with their team of volunteers Friday afternoon.

This will be the 15th flag that founder Kyle Fox has put up since 2015. His flags have hung across canyons in Utah, Arizona and Colorado. The organization uses its flags to fulfill its mission statement to honor, heal and inspire.

Fox described a palpable and indescribable feeling that comes with each flag he puts up. “People have stood in tears and veterans have expressed such appreciation,” he said.

While stars and stripes grace Provo Canyon, the LaVell Edwards stadium will also be displaying the American flag during the Cougar’s first home football game against the University of Utah. 

BYU Assistant Athletic Director David Almodova announced in an interview with BYU Sports Nation that BYU football has their own 9/11 tribute planned for Saturday’s game. A 60-yard flag will be brought out onto the field before kickoff. As the players storm the field, 13 of them will be carrying an American flag in honor of the 13 soldiers that were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 26.

Just south of the LaVell Edwards Stadium, the BYU Air Force and Army ROTC put on their own display of the American flag in front of the Abraham O. Smoot Administration Building on campus. Their program was held Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. and included the raising of the flag, a rifle salute and a rose-laying ceremony. Flags lined all the walkways nearby. Throughout the day, cadets stood watch by the flagpole in front of the well-known Brigham Young statue as they paid tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11.

“When those buildings went down, people turned to each other,” Fox said. “There are so many things to take away from 9/11 and that mentality of ‘someone is down, lend a hand’ is what we need to take away from that. For me, I would hope that the flag flying is a big symbol of that commitment.”

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