MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The American flag that flew at Ground Zero just hours after the September 11th terror attacks has made its way back to the hallowed ground.
It’s a symbol of hope that has come home. Emergency responders raised the American flag at ground zero just hours after the 9/11 attacks – a moment captured in an iconic photograph.
“The raising of this flag restored some humanity. It restored some hope and it really told all of us as Americans that we were going to be strong and that we were going to get through this together,” said 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels.
But days after it was raised, it disappeared for 13 years. Then, in 2014, an anonymous man turned it in to a fire station in Everett, Washington.
Law enforcement officials from Everett investigated its puzzling re-emergence and helped authenticate this piece of American history using high-resolution photographs.
Exactly how the flag ended up across the country and the identity of the person who turned it in remain a mystery but it’s back.
The flag has been donated to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
“Everyone here at the 9/11 memorial and museum feels a tremendous measure of pride and responsibility in assuming custody of this flag,” said the 9/11 Memorial Director Alice Greenwald.
While the flag has been found, the mystery of where it went lingers.
“Now with the amount of attention that’s being given to it, we suspect that there will be leads that come in,” said Former Everett Police Detective Jim Massingale.
The stars and stripes are now on display – in time for Sunday’s 15th anniversary of the attacks.
Memorials, vigils, and tributes will be held around the country this weekend including the anniversary ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza at the World Trade Center.