KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A Marine color guard raised a large American flag into the Afghan sky at the American occupied Kandahar International Airport December 17, 2001.
The New York Police Department sent the flag to the Marines with the hope it would unfurl somewhere over Afghanistan. Rescue workers flew the flag during the aftermath of the infamous Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that sparked the international war on terrorism.
The flag bears signatures of rescue workers and friends and family of victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and the USS Cole. Seventeen of the flag's stars were dedicated to the 17 U.S. sailors who died when the Cole was bombed last year.
The flag had also flown on U.S. ships in the North Arabian Sea during Operation Enduring Freedom. The flag was brought to Afghanistan after the airport was secured by the 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations Capable) Dec. 13.
The flag only flew one day to preserve the writing and will be shipped back to the New York City Police Department.