When grief rewrites your address book: How a Boston tradition got started

Meaghan Coombs was dreading September 11, 2008, her first anniversary of the attacks away from home. A freshman at Roger Williams University, she had lost her father, Jeff Coombs, aboard American Airlines Flight 11.

To her surprise, she found a campus display of American flags in honor of those killed in the attacks, which she found comforting, reports Kevin Cullen, for the Boston Globe.

The next year, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund, a charity made up of Gold Star families and September 11th families were trying to plan a Memorial Day commemoration. Meaghan’s mother, Christie Coombs, told the group about the flag display, and a new Boston tradition was born.

Now, every Memorial Day, 37,000 flags placed by 700 volunteers, are displayed on Boston Common near the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to honor those killed on 9/11 and Massachusetts’ military killed from the Revolutionary War to the present.

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