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Remembering victims of terror

John HartFrom left to right, Pat Spencer, Ingrid Terry, Sandra Hartley and Ginny Dearing work on the project April 22 at a home in Morgan Ranch in Grass Valley.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Some local stitchers have joined in a worldwide project memorializing victims of terrorist attacks, including the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.



Ingrid Terry, one of the stitchers for the Memorial Flag Project, said she finds it compelling because the World Trade Center attack was such a devastating event, one that left people feeling helpless.




“It’s emotionally therapeutic,” said Terry, a Morgan Ranch resident. “It’s satisfying once you complete it.”

A group of 20 Nevada County women, including Terry, are stitching together panels for an American flag in memory of the Sept. 11 attack victims and others killed in terrorist attacks dating back to 1970.

An article in Navy Times about the project caught the attention of Lake of the Pines stitcher Saundra Hartley on Christmas Eve.

They are putting their handicraft skills to work in making the 6-by-8-inch panels that will make up an American flag that is 35 feet high and 62 1/2 feet long. The flag’s 13 stripes will be made up of 5,442 of the red or white panels.

Area stitchers have finished 60 panels so far and are now working on the fourth stripe, stitching pieces that will have names of New York Port Authority police officers, 36 of whom died in the Sept. 11 attack.

Once it’s finished, the flag will be shown in Washington, D.C., and New York City. The goal is to finish the project by September.

The sewers are using counted cross stitching. Starting with a blank fabric background, they count out the number of stitches required to make the piece, rather than stitch over a patterned background. Each Memorial Flag piece can take seven hours of work with a needle and thread. Local stitchers include members of the Pine Needlers Stitchery Group.

The project’s organizer is Elizabeth Barnes, a 25-year-old Norfolk, Va., woman.

She is putting together the pieces of 550 stitchers worldwide for the project, which is an individual effort and not organized under any group or nonprofit organization, said Barnes.

Barnes said she started the project because she always wanted to see something honoring people who died in the World Trade Center attack.

Barnes said she decided to include terrorist deaths back to 1970 because the flag’s size had enough panels to extend the project back to that time.

To learn more aboutthe Memorial Flag Project, contact Pat Spencer at 273 2760.


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