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Sept. 11: One year after

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Globe and Boston.com coverage from September 11, 2001

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Famous flag raised by firefighters over World Trade Center wreckage has disappeared

By Associated Press

HACKENSACK, N.J. The American flag that was raised by three firefighters over the wreckage of the World Trade Center, one of the most enduring images of Sept. 11, has disappeared.

After it was removed from the site during cleanup, the flag was believed to have been flown on U.S. ships serving in the war in Afghanistan, then returned to New York City officials in March.

But the flag that city officials preserved measures 5 feet by 8 feet. The flag the firefighters raised on Sept. 11 measured 4 feet by 6 feet, according to its original owners.

"It's just a really awkward and difficult situation," said Lark-Marie Anton, a spokeswoman for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "What it represents is really what's important."

Bloomberg has asked city fire officials to investigate what happened to the flag.

The New York Times reported that city officials had traced the 5-by-8 flag as far back as a Sept. 23 appearance in Yankee Stadium. They believe the original flag may have been accidentally switched or misplaced sometime between Sept. 11 and that event.

Officials say they are unaware of anyone claiming to possess the original.

The original flag came from a yacht, the Star of America, that was in a Hudson River marina near the World Trade Center that day. Firefighter Dan McWilliams took it from the yacht and walked back to Ground Zero, where he and two colleagues, George Johnson and Bill Eisengrein, raised it on a slanted pole.

The scene was captured by Thomas Franklin, a photographer with The Record of Bergen County, and distributed worldwide by The Associated Press.

The discrepancy about the flag size was discovered last month when the yacht owners, Shirley Dreifus and her husband, Spiros Kopelakis, borrowed the flag for an event on board the Star of America.

The couple had been preparing to formally donate the flag to the city when they said they noticed the flag was too big to be theirs.

"It's a mystery," Glen Oxton, an attorney representing the owners said Thursday in The Record. "Who knows what happened to it after the firefighters put it up and the photograph was taken? There was so much activity down there."

Today's news:
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Mass. remembers victims
Silence, tears mark day at Logan
Under alert, Mass. carries on
Bush faces day with resolve
World remembers attacks in US
Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
Updated wire coverage

Photo galleries:
Families mourn, remember
Ceremony at Ground Zero
Ceremony at the Pentagon
Ceremony at Pa. crash scene
Remembrances worldwide
Remembrances in Boston

NECN RealVideo:
Moment of silence observed
Ceremony at State House
Gettysburg Address read
Procession at Ground Zero
A somber travel day at Logan
Images of Sept. 11, 2001

 THE SERIES

 DAY ONE   SEPT. 3

Preparing for the worst
Security has become the new norm in Greater Boston.

 DAY TWO   SEPT. 4

Fear and children
Children's responses may shed light on human anxiety, resiliency.

 DAY THREE   SEPT. 5

Muslim minds
The US effort to win over Muslim hearts and minds is failing.

 DAY FOUR   SEPT. 6

Science vs. terrorism
New chemical, biological threats spur nation's top minds.

 DAY FIVE   SEPT. 7

Detainees
For those deported after Sept. 11, the losses are wrenching.

 DAY SIX   SEPT. 8

A special Magazine issue
A Sept. 11 narrative by former Massport chief Virginia Buckingham, plus an essay by Christopher Hitchens.

A special Arts section
How culture has changed since Sept. 11, including a gallery of art inspired by the attacks.

A special Focus section
A look at how the lives of six Americans were altered.

Everywhere USA
Terrorism comes to God's country.

 DAY SEVEN   SEPT. 9

Where is Al Qaeda?
How have bin Laden and his terrorist group eluded US forces?

 DAY EIGHT   SEPT. 10

Two cities
New York and DC one year later.

 DAY NINE   SEPT. 11

America remembers
The US looks back at the terrorist attacks.

Victims and survivors
A year later, still hurting.

A time for bells and remembrance
A clash of views on terror
Limited damage to the economy
Families build support system
NYC's healing process
Finding comfort in the kitchen
Bailey: A day of atonement


From the Associated Press:
Tribute paid with tattoos
Charities changed by 9/11
White House calls home
9/11 stole innocence, love
Man escaped earthquake, 9/11
Update on 9/11's famous faces
Firemen still burying dead
A mother's note to a lost son
9/11 created heroes in death
Voice mails bring comfort
Little things hold memories
87th floor survivor copes
Sampling of 9/11 memorials
Pentagon survivors move on
Moments of silence on Sept. 11
Survivors try to move forward
Families cling to chances
Sept. 11 widow trying to forgive
Widow becomes an advocate
Workplace response varies
Graphic: Funds offer relief





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