9/11 -- St. Petersburg Times Special Report

Sunday, Sept. 1
  • Florida: Terror's launching pad
  • The 19 plotters and their day of terror
  • Remembering

    Monday, Sept. 2
  • When tragedy meets capitalism
  • '9/11 fatigue' is natural, mental health experts say

    Tuesday, Sept. 3
  • Coping as a kid
  • Eric Deggans: 9/11 documentary asks troubling questions about religion
  • Sept. 11 photograph exhibit opens

    Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Millions in new funding don't guarantee security
  • Donations to local charities slow in months after attacks
  • Sept. 11 donations swamp charities
  • Bush to visit three attack sites on 9/11

    Thursday, Sept. 5
  • Attack anniversary is living history lesson
  • Trading fallback system improved
  • Future of site still beset by debate

    Friday, Sept. 6
  • Senate approves plan to allow armed pilots
  • Dream job becoming demoralizing
  • New plane doors would withstand gunfire
  • What ever happened to ... Those patriotic paint jobs?
  • The other 911
  • Consolidated for the cause

    Saturday, Sept. 7
  • In chaos, TIA tower controlled 9/11 skies
  • Congress, N.Y. reaffirm solidarity
  • Traveling can be nicer in rougher countries
  • For TIA workers, 'normal' not what it used to be
  • Airlines don't see relief over horizon
  • Terror only one blow to tourism
  • A year later, it's the home fires that burn brightly
  • Flying the flag

    Sunday, Sept. 8
  • 125 Cedar Street
  • The drama in Sarasota
  • Cautious, yes, but still traveling
  • As security increases, fervor fades
  • Rising risks
  • Finding lessons in rubble of tragedy
  • Public loss, private grief
  • Duty calls; he goes; they wait
  • Riled residents show true colors
  • Keeping her distance
  • Which way leads up?
  • For the record
  • 45 Questions
  • A lexicon of terror, post-9/11
  • Before attacks, this was the news
  • Other events on Sept. 11
  • Voice mail delivers, retains final words
  • Keeping us rolling
  • 9.11
  • How we'll view it

    Monday, Sept. 9
  • The residue of terror
  • Patriotism is more than emotion
  • What ever happened to . . .: Our religious fervor?
  • The nightmares return
  • Life has the right-of-way
  • Free to disagree
  • 'Time has not healed the pain'
  • Deputies to step up patrol for anniversary
  • Security upgrade since 9/11 slow, steady
  • Enthusiasm for PHCC's security classes dissipates
  • Teachers untangle Sept. 11 lessons
  • A bumpy year for business
  • The man who would have led Afghanistan
  • People who made the headlines

    Tuesday, Sept. 10
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks

    Wednesday, Sept. 11
  • Remembrance and renewal
  • Flags Along the Bayshore: Tampa Remembers 9/11
  • Ways of remembering
  • A piece of paper . a blue and white truck
  • Is America ready for another attack?
  • Nation to honor victims in silence
  • Poll: Compassion remains
  • The war so far
  • Terror update
  • Attack on Iraq would test headquarters at MacDill
  • 09-11-01 Perspectives
  • Those who died in the attacks
  • Myriad rescue agencies trust their link won't fail
  • Photo gallery
  • (This Flash gallery requires the free Flash Player 5+.)

    Thursday, Sept. 12
  • Emotional service honors those who died selflessly
  • Elements of pride
  • Echo of 9/11 empties airport
  • A day full of tributes, flags and questions
  • Prayer, fellowship pull many through agonizing anniversary
  • Tributes great and small
  • Children in a changed world pause to reflect
  • Citrus recalls 9/11 with its heart
  • Marking the imponderable
  • Ministers assure that God was there that sorrowful day
  • Chime recalls a nation's losses
  • For law officers, day passes quietly
  • Residents gather to heal, remember
  • In big and small ways, our community pays tribute
  • Cities somberly mark Sept. 11
  • Patriotic display greets drivers
  • Day of grief, resolve
  • At county schools, remembrance resounds
  • Travel lags on attacks' anniversary
  • They were us
  • Americans worldwide cautious on anniversary
  • Radical Muslims discuss 'positive outcomes' of Sept. 11
  • Amid grief, Bush gives warning

  • printer version

    Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak

    Emblems of patriotism and blood donations were popular last fall. Code enforcers still ignore the showy displays.

    By JENNIFER LIBERTO
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 10, 2002


    SPRING HILL -- Jose Torres wanted a flag.

    Not just any flag, but a big, bright, beautiful American flag to shine all night on Spring Hill Drive and remind Hernando County of its freedom that also shines through the night, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    So Torres bought a 4- by 8-foot sheet of plywood, meticulously measured and shrank the dimensions to scale, drew the flag, painted it and strung it with Christmas lights, one bulb for each star. It took him a week to build. And he has never taken it down.

    "A year passed already, but it seems like yesterday. So many people died, all those civilians going to work in the morning and not coming back," said Torres who lives at 1390 Autumn Road. He erected the display along his back fence, which faces Spring Hill Drive.

    Although quite a few American flags continue to wave over houses and from cars, the patriotic symbolism that surged in the weeks after the terrorist attacks seems to be waning. Displays of patriotism -- flags, blood donations, small memorials to those who died in the attacks -- have gone down or been ignored.

    "People used to have a lot more out, but it seems that lately, it's gotten old," said Frank Vulpis, who has kept a display of red, white and blue Christmas lights around his palm tree as well as red, white and blue artificial carnations in his front yard at 1426 Deltona Blvd.

    Vulpis served in the Army and Marine reserves, as well as the New York City police and fire departments. But he felt most compelled to keep up his display, he said, to honor the sons of friends who died in the World Trade Center.

    Many stores that sell American flags and paraphernalia throughout the county say sales have fallen.

    Joni Industries, which sold about 150 flags a day in late September and October, now see sales no better than the months preceding Sept. 11, 2001, said president Gus Guadagnino last week.

    "It's almost like there's no difference," said Guadagnino, whose best sales are garnered from loads of flags sold from his satellite office in New York. "I guess we've developed into a society where we grieve and then decide let's get on with our lives."

    However, sales are strong for a $2 T-shirt he designed that rings of a more current patriotic memory. It states, "One Nation Under God Forever," referring to a ruling by a federal appeals court in California that the phrase "under God" in the pledge was unconstitutional.

    Few Hernando county residents who crowded blood donation centers as a sign of their patriotism returned for subsequent blood donations, said Lucy Coburn, Hernando County branch manager of LifeSouth blood center.

    Even Hernando County code enforcement director Frank McDowell III, who has traditionally flown a flag in front of his house, has not noticed any problems with overzealous flag displays.

    Code enforcers are still ignoring an ordinance that prevents businesses from flying excessive numbers of flags, like the dozens currently posted in front of the Mitsubishi dealer on U.S. 19.

    Last year, the commission amended the ordinance, saying displays of American flags should not be regulated during the postattack national emergency order, which has remained in effect.

    "We haven't been doing anything with the American flag, as far as commercial businesses are concerned," McDowell said. "I like displays of patriotism, anyway."


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    Related coverage
  • Multitude to gather to wave U.S. flags
  • Pictures evoke profound feelings
  • Attacks haven't boosted sales of cell phones
  • Schools discover ways to reflect on attacks
  • Flags still wave, but sales fall from peak
  • Three fathers lost
  • Telemarketers easing up on 9/11
  • Nuclear plant adds security layers to prevent terrorism
  • Cough, stress hinder emergency workers
  • Families of missing sit in limbo
  • Places of importance after the attacks