Tucson ‘Flags for Flagless’ Initiative Traveling to NYC for 9/11 Anniversary
Written By Lauren Reimer
Posted: Sep 07, 2015 5:38 PM
TUCSON – Later this week, Americans will remember the morning of September 11th, 2001. It’s been 14 years since the Twin Towers fell in New York City. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day.
For today’s school children, it’s something they will only read and watch videos about.
A Tucson police officer is on a journey east, to bring a piece of history and American symbolism back to a Brooklyn elementary school.
Growing up, the American flag had a special meaning to Tucson Police Officer Charley Foley.
“I’m a kid from San Diego, I went to college here, I’m a police officer of 14 years, long history of family in the military,” said Foley.
For the last year, Foley has been on the lookout for empty flag poles around Tucson. He’s the founder of the group ‘Flags for the Flagless.’ In his free time, and with the help of donations, he buys and installs flags, bringing the red white and blue to dozens of addresses.
He wants to get people talking about what it means to them. “As long as the conversation some up, people talk about the flag, good or bad, that’s what the flag’s there for,” said Foley.
His mission is now expanding to the east coast. It started with a question from a ‘Flags for the Flagless’ supporter.
“‘Do you have anybody back here doing what you’re doing in Arizona with the flags?’ I said, ‘No, but I have a friend that can maybe make this work,'” said Foley.
Foley had learned a local school needed its aging stars and stripes replaced. “The school budgets can’t afford to get new flags,” he said.
His friend, a local businessman, offered to donate 30.
With the purchase made, Foley boards an airplane Wednesday, bound for New York. On September 11th, he will present the flags to students at public school 139 in Brooklyn.
“So to have that, to be in New York now 14 years later giving flags to school kids, who weren’t even when this happened. These kids are all 5th grade and under so they’re all 10, 11 years old,” Foley said. “I’ll be moved, to say the least.”
He’ll also share his story of September 11th as a police officer on the job in Tucson.
“So we’re passing on a piece of history if you will,” said Foley.