Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Every home and business in my little town of Willard, Missouri woke up this morning with an American flag planted at the end of it's driveway on this Patriot Day.  It is beautiful to see the streets lined with those flags. 

This year, the Patriot Day flags were sponsored by the Willard Chamber of Commerce and it is a huge show of Patriotism by our members.  We had 2,500 flags to plant.  The first year after 9/11, my friend, and at that time, employer, Bill Tropepe from Century 21 Performance, thought it would be a good idea to put a flag at every home and business in Willard  to honor those who died on that terrible day one year earlier.
 Bill Tropepe - Century 21 Performance

Back then, it was a huge undertaking done entirely by about 8-10 people.  I was proud to be a part of it.  It made for a long, crazy night.  We would start at around 6:00 and finish around 1 in the morning. My husband Sam and I have helped with it every year since.
This year, the Chamber of Commerce took over the project with about 40 volunteers and I have to say, it went much faster.  There was a lot of planning and mapping involved. 
My husband, Sam Baird, Past President, Stacia Buffington, President  Elect, and Mindy Latham, Current President.
(These guys worked their hearts out to get this one night pulled together.)
Chamber members and volunteers met at the high school and we fed them all pizza.
Patriotism runs high in our town.  Many business owners showed up to help out and I want to acknowledge them here.
Mark and Anita Jones - Quality Cabinets
Julie Munsey and Family - Willard Care Center

 Dr. Devon Jarvis and family - Jarvis Family Eye Center

 My friend and co-worker at Top Hat Package, Amber Johnson and her awesome son Cooper

 Pam Askren - Back Porch Tea House, Flowers & Gifts

Joyce Taylor - Farmers Insurance, Dan Crutcher - ADT Security and Kendall Cook - Mid-Missouri Bank

Cammi Coleman and the fabulous Miss Aria - Guaranty Bank
I have to say this woman, who was on my team, is awesome.  She carried Aria while planting flags and is expecting baby #2, and she did it all with a smile and a great attitude and was still smiling at the end of the evening!  Now that is some seriously dedicated patriotism!  Thank you Cammi and thank you to everyone who came out and helped us with this amazing community project, including those of you, whom I did not get to photograph.  You are all amazing!
Thank you to Willard High School for letting us use the commons area of your fabulous school for our base of operation!
When I was walking through a neighborhood planting flags last night, a woman stopped her car and ask me what the occasion was.  I told her it was for 9/11, Patriot's Day.  She said "Oh.....thank you!"  So, not only is it a beautiful sight to see this morning....
It's a good reminder.  People get busy and I guess they can forget......but they shouldn't.  Our country suffered an act of terrorism on that day.  Many people paid the ultimate sacrifice and many continue to.
  The following words are part of the mission statement of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center In New York City:
"May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance and intolerance."


  1. Danni, planting of flags...what a beautiful way to remember the deeds and spirits of others.

  2. Thanks Danni for such a great inspirational and heartwarming article. I worked in walking distance of the Pentagon and saw first hand a community coming together in the mist of a terrible tragedy. It is something I'll never forget.

  3. Oh that is a lovely memorial, my older boys are currently up, (it's 10:30pm here) watching a documentary about 9/11. From allyour friends Down Under, we remember and are thinking if you all xxoo

  4. Danni,

    I love your post. I love your quote at the end. And Cammi, how great is she! You, your husband, the entire team of volunteers that came together for this yearly remembrance...just awesome. Wish I could take a drive to see, but I have a beautiful picture in my head of what your town looks like this morning.

  5. I love that about a small town...everyone coming together in friendship to accomplish a goal. A great deed to remember the fallen on this tragic day.

  6. How very sweet! And what a great town tradition.

  7. What a beautiful thing to have started. What a great way to come together a community, a family, and remember. I applaud you for being a doer and an inspire-er. Your town is lucky to have you.

  8. That's a great idea. Our town does flags for July 4 and you're right it's beautiful.

  9. What an incredible tradition! How beautiful and patriotic!

  10. Danni,

    You know I am a New Yorker, so on behalf of all of us who lived through 9/11 here, I want to thank you and your entire town for the tribute to all who lost their lives, to those who lost family, friends and loved ones as well as to those first responders, both civilian and non civilian who went into harms way to aid others. It was a horrible event that brought out the beauty of human nature. I will never forget that day, and the many days after, what I saw, what I felt. . . Thank you for remembering.

    May God bless you and your community for the tribute!

  11. A local realtor here puts out the flags each year as well. For each person lost in that senseless tragedy, there were so very many left behind to mourn. It must be a great comfort to the survivors to know that their loss is remembered and shared by so many in such a beautiful way.

  12. I would have loved to be there to help! Great job Danni.

  13. What a great thing your town does each year. Like December 7, 1941, we must never forget September 11, 2001.
    I love that many of your volunteers had their kids involved, some too young to have been here that awful day. May this wonderful thing continue long into the future.

  14. This is so wonderful. I wish our town still did something, anything, to remember 9/11. I know that I will never forget and I hate to see the complacency and forgetfulness of people now. Thank you for sharing this. It's so important to remember.

  15. Our wonderful ! Your town and you Danni are an inspiration !

  16. How wonderful to have the whole town work together! Creating community and beauty out of such a traumatic event

  17. The best of how to remember 9-11. I am so glad Billy and you all are still doing this :-)