Thousands of flags planted outside Dr. Phillips Center to remember 9/11 victims

Flags represent veterans with PTSD

By Ezzy Castro - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - On Wednesday, more than 13,000 flags were placed outside the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando. 

Each flag represented a post-Sept. 11, 2001 veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

"Those flags represent our families, our brothers, our sisters, our mothers, our fathers, our children so it's important that we take care of them and get them the help they need," said Mark Canty, undersheriff at the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

He said he remembers exactly where he was during the 2001 terror attacks on U.S. soil.

Orlando first responders at a ceremony on Sept. 11, 2019 at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts where more than 13,000 flags planted representing post 9/11 Florida veterans suffering from PTSD.

"We were training in Lake County through their sheriff's office and we watched the towers come down and we couldn't really believe it because you never thought our country could be attacked in such a way," Canty explained.

The Veterans Affairs Administration reports that 35% to 50% of returning veterans do not seek treatment for their mental health condition. 

On Sept. 11, 2019 more than 13,000 flags were planted at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts representing post 9/11 Florida veterans suffering from PTSD. (Image: James Gosselin/WKMG)

"We remember the day that our country was attacked and how bravely firefighters in New York sought to rescue those trapped in the two buildings and how many lost their lives that day," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. 

Volunteers with the Camaraderie Foundation who planted the flags on Wednesday say their mission is to provide healing for the invisible wounds of war through private counseling, spiritual comfort and emotional support for members of all military branches. 

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