Indiana Man Continues Tradition of Waving Huge American Flag Over Bridge to Honor 9/11 Victims

By Samuel Allegri

A man from Indianapolis goes out to honor the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks every year, now for the 18th time.

He takes half a day every Sep. 11 to come out with a huge 50-pound American flag and waves it on a bridge over I-465 for passing drivers to see and remember.

“Just to see this flag whipping in the wind, it reminds us of a thousand things about a thousand things,” Clark told The Indy Channel.

He says it’s nothing compared to what the people directly affected that day faced.

Rescue workers sift through the wreckage of the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 13, 2001, two days after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers, leveling them in a terrorist attack. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

“To honor those 2,977 people who, in those final moments, were displaying love and tenderness and strength,” said Clark. “How terrifying that must have been, and total strangers were looking out for each other.

Clark said, “I think today is a somber day, not one of celebration, but remembrance for real-life American heroes.”

As Clark started his tradition at 6 a.m., drivers passing by showed their support by waving, honking, and yelling. He will remain until 6 p.m.

The skeleton of the World Trade Center twin towers in the background
The skeleton of the World Trade Center twin towers in the background, New York City firefighters work amid debris on Cortlandt St. after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 (Mark Lennihan/AP)

He told Fox59 that the inspiration came from a distinct memory he has from the coverage of the event: he remembers a homeless man on the Potomac with a flag attached to a branch on his hand, weeping.

“I’m inspired by the people of a great city here in Indianapolis. Over the years they’ve been supportive and giving,” Clark said. “If it’s been cold or rainy, people bring me jackets and umbrellas. If it’s hot, they make sure I get plenty of water and food. For those who have seen fit to help me on days like this, thank you in advance for that kindness. That inspires me to be out here every year.”

Smoke rises from the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center
Smoke rises from the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center after hijacked planes crashed into the towers, in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. (Richard Drew/AP)

“We strive and we aspire in this nation to bring greatness to all people. I’m proud and honored to be a veteran. I’m proud and honored to be an American,” he said.

He plans to continue the tradition next year.