On the eve of September 11, a visit to West Sacramento is becoming something of a tradition for Cyndi Eckler and hundreds of other Northern Californians.
“We are proud. We are strong, as a nation,” Eckler said.
She was standing in a field of thousands of American flags off Jefferson in West Sacramento. It’s a remembrance park, erected each of the last seven years. There is a flag in the field for every American killed on 9/11, and in a number of terror attacks since.
And even though she hadn’t been born yet, Cyndi’s daughter, Natalie, has come along. She didn’t have to be alive to remember what happened on that day in 2001 to understand: this is her history too.
“It still hurts my feelings that all these people died,” Natalie said.
It is, after all, living history. The monument park grows year-by-year as more American lives are lost to terrorism- lives lost in places like Boston, at the marathon, and in Bengazi.
“We see a lot of tears here. And a lot of pride,” said John Vinson.
For seven years, Vinson has been creating the remembrance park. And as more lives are lost to terrorism, the park grows.
Vinson isn’t sure yet where he’ll include flags for the two American journalists beheaded by ISIL. But what is clear to everyone who visits is that the hate that fueled 9/11 isn’t isolated to history.
“It’d be nice if we had peace in this word. But we don’t have it yet,” Eckler said.