To me, the most heartbreaking and touching part is the cards on each flag. Some just have the barest of data, but a lot have more information:
Perhaps the most touching aspect about these stories is the way they show the love felt by the people who loved those who were lost.
I still remember how everyone came together immediately after the attacks....I was in college at the time and went to get my roommate for lunch. We were in one of the office buildings there and everyone gathered together to watch TV coverage--something I've really never done before or since.
It was a scary time (as a natural coward, I was a bit worried that the terrorists might strike my Arizona campus!) and an eerie time (I wrote a little stream-of-consciousness poem, now lost, but I believe it started, "Food smells delicious. I'm alive."). And such a sad time--though the initial reports said that as many as 50,000 were killed...I consider it God's providence that the final toll was more like 3,000.
My classes all met as scheduled, and we might have even had a regular lecture in a big auditorium class (psychology, I think it was?). But in my smaller Japanese history class we just talked about the attacks. Everyone wanted to help, I recall, even though there really wasn't all that much we could do out in Arizona. Besides pray.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors and those who lost someone...and to all who are suffering through less-known but still tragic tragedies and illnesses.