The Bayshore Patriots envision 9,134 people holding U.S. flags along a Tampa thoroughfare.
By DONG-PHUONG NGUYEN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published July 29, 2002
TAMPA -- Anyone worried about a decline in the sense of patriotism that swept the nation after Sept. 11 should talk to the Bayshore Patriots.
The group, formed by three local women who started a tradition of waving American flags every Friday at motorists on the corner of Bayshore and Bay to Bay boulevards, has amassed a growing list of people interested in memorializing the victims on the first anniversary of the attacks.
Their goal is to gather all of their supporters, dress them in red, white and blue, and form a solid line of American flags along a 4.5-mile stretch of Bayshore Boulevard.
So far, more than 8,000 people -- including students from Hillsborough County schools -- have signed up to take part in "Flags along the Bayshore" on Sept. 11.
"We never doubted we would get enough people for this," said Julie Adcock Whitney, one of the original Bayshore Patriots. "It's going to be a very moving tribute."
The event was the brainchild of Whitney and her fellow flag wavers: Linda Alfonso, Julie Sargent and Bill Hamblin. The four still wave their flags each Friday.
Whitney said they expect to easily attract the 9,134 people needed to fill Bayshore from Gandy Boulevard to the Platt Street Bridge while standing shoulder to shoulder.
"The more the merrier," she said.
Participants are urged to bring Old Glory, preferably one that is 3 by 5 feet for adults.
It won't cost anything to participate, but flag wavers need to register so they can be assigned a spot along Bayshore.
Members of the military, police, fire and emergency personnel, veterans and scouts are urged to wear their uniforms. All others should wear patriotic colors.
Everyone must be in place before the tribute begins at 8 a.m. Plans are in the works for military flyovers, Whitney said.
The group hopes to have six separate moments of silence -- four moments for when the planes crashed and two moments for when the World Trade Center towers crumbled. Members also are working on a list of speakers.
For information, contact the Bayshore Patriots through the group's Web site: