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9/11 Memorial Going Up In West Sacramento

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

John Vinson and Jerry Shockley begin measuring plot points for thousands of American flags that are part of an annual 9/11 memorial.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The organizers behind a 9/11 commemoration with several thousand American flags have begun the task of installing the display in West Sacramento.

John Vinson came up with the idea right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and has increased the number and size of the exhibit every year since.

"When I started it, it just gave people a place to go on 9/11. Some just happened to show up and walk the fields and think about what happened that day. Over the years, it's almost turned into a celebration of life. People come here. They walk the flags and they leave feeling a lot better than they did when they arrived."

Vinson hasn't kept track, but guesses the number of people who have visited the memorial on Jefferson Boulevard is in the thousands. He's become close to many.

"A few years back, a guy by the name of Rich came into the field about 5:30 in the morning. He was walking around and he came up and he thanked me for doing it. We got to visiting for awhile. He was on his way down on the 44th floor of Tower Two when the plane hit Tower Two. And from that day forward, we kind of stayed in contact and now we've developed a really good friendship."

Vinson says about 3,500 flags will be on display. He has added a memorial to victims of other terrorist attacks, including the Boston Marathon Bombing, Benghazi and the Orlando Nightclub Shooting.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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