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Divers Deploy 9/11 Memorial Flag on Key West Shipwreck

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Divers complete deploying a huge American flag Friday, July 4, 2014, on the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a former military troop transport and missile-tracking ship scuttled more than five years ago off Key West, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as an artificial reef. The 30- by 40-foot flag, formerly flew at a Morris, Illinois, memorial park for Sept. 11, 2001, New York City terrorists' attack victims. But the flag was scheduled for retirement after being badly tattered by weather. It was to be retired after being tattered by weather, but  Morris attorney Scott Belt conceived the idea of mending the flag and unfurling it on the Vandenberg.  (Joe Berg/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

Divers complete deploying a huge American flag Friday, July 4, 2014, on the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a former military troop transport and missile-tracking ship scuttled more than five years ago off Key West, Fla., in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as an artificial reef. The 30- by 40-foot flag, formerly flew at a Morris, Illinois, memorial park for Sept. 11, 2001, New York City terrorists’ attack victims. But the flag was scheduled for retirement after being badly tattered by weather. It was to be retired after being tattered by weather, but Morris attorney Scott Belt conceived the idea of mending the flag and unfurling it on the Vandenberg. (Joe Berg/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)

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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/FKNB) —  Divers in the Florida Keys decided to honor their country on July 4th by attaching a 9/11 memorial flag to a historic shipwreck.

The historic wreck is located at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The 30- by 40-foot flag, formerly flew at a Morris, Illinois, memorial park for Sept. 11, 2001, New York City terrorists’ attack victims. But the flag was scheduled for retirement after being badly tattered by weather.

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(Source: Florida Keys New Bureau)

Morris attorney Scott Belt conceived the idea of mending the flag, by reducing its original 60-foot width, and deploying it on the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a former Army troop transporter and Navy missile-tracking ship that was scuttled in 145 feet of water, about seven miles south of Key West in May 2009.

The Vandenberg that once tracked space launches off Cape Canaveral, Fla., and monitored Soviet missile launches during the Cold War, was added to a list of military vessels purposely sunk off the Florida Keys to become an artificial reef, thus preserving a facet of U.S. history.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Florida Keys News Bureau contributed to this report.)

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