It took the roughly 100 people assembled for the 9/11 Memorial Event less than a half hour Sunday evening to plant the 2,977 small flags on the front lawn of North Oconee High School.
Each flag was to represent an individual who lost her or his life in the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
Those who turned out for the event were a diverse group, representing the students at North Oconee High School and others from throughout the community, including local elected officials and those seeking office in the upcoming Nov. 7 special election.
Olga Kukharsky, who founded and leads the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at the high school, began the meeting with a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks.
The group quickly took bundles of the small flags and placed them around the entrance sign for the High School on Rocky Branch Road at Hog Mountain Road in western Oconee County.
Kirk Shook, YAF Chapter advisor and a teacher at North Oconee, opened the event a little after 6 p.m on Sunday by thanking the crowd that turned out and introducing by name some of those present.
Included were Oconee County Commissioners Chuck Horton and Mark Saxon, Dan Matthews, a member of the Watkinsville City Council, and candidates Deborah Gonzalez and Tom Lord.
Gonzalez is running as a Democrat in the 117th Georgia House District race, and Lord is running as a Republican in the 119th Georgia House District contest.
The Oconee County Republican and Democratic parties promoted Sunday’s 9/11 memorial event, and their members were in evidence in the crowd.
Qualifying for those two special elections was to be held the first part of the coming week, but Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has delayed the filing period because of Hurricane Irma.
The weather at the memorial event was windy and cool, reflecting the local effect of Hurricane Irma, active in the southern tip of Florida at the time.
Oconee County schools as well as local government offices are to be closed tomorrow (Monday) in response to the weather.
When Kukharsky and Shook organized the event, the goal was to have the 2,977 flags visible to students as they entered the school on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks as a way of honoring those who lost their lives and of reminding students and others of the events of that day.
The video below contains the introductory comments of Shook and Kukharsky and then a few clips as the flags were placed in the ground by those who participated.
The penultimate clip is of the crowd assembled at the end of the flag planting. The ultimate clip is of the flags.