Amherst says ‘No’ to annual downtown flag display to commemorate 9/11 terrorist attacks on America

By Conor Berry The Republican

AMHERST — Officials here will not allow some two dozen American flags to be flown from downtown utility poles next month to commemorate the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Amherst resident Larry Kelley has lobbied town officials to fly flags from the utility poles every year since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. But the Select Board on Tuesday voted against adjusting a 2010 policy that only allows the flags to be flown every five years to honor 9/11, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The flags were flown downtown last year to commemorate the attacks, which means they won’t be flown again until 2016. Kelley has said it makes no sense to fly them annually for some occasions, but not for others. Kelley said he thinks Amherst is sending “a god-awful message,” the Northampton newspaper reports.

Twenty-nine American flags are flown each year in the downtown area in honor of Patriots’ Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

Voters have rejected past efforts to annually acknowledge the terrorist attacks with flags in downtown Amherst. The town will mark this year’s 9/11 anniversary by lowering flags and holding a ceremony at Amherst Fire Department headquarters, the Gazette reports.

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