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Flags fly high in honor of 9/11

Hudson resident Mona Houston joined with others participating in a 24-hour flag-waving event on an Interstate 94 bridge overpass in Washington County. Bulletin photo by MIke Longaecker

Mona Houston spent much of the day Wednesday with tears in her eyes.

The Hudson woman said emotions rushed past her like so many automobiles while she held an American flag aloft on top of a bridge overlooking Interstate 94.

“It’s hard not to shed some tears while you’re out here doing this,” she said.

It was Houston’s first time joining the group organized by D. Paul Rode, owner of Hudson’s Agave Kitchen restaurant. She and several east metro residents took part in the event, which aims to pay tribute to those killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by displaying flags at the County Road 21 bridge in Lakeland Township for 24 straight hours.

Other participants on Wednesday afternoon included Oakdale Anytime Fitness employees Andrew Nelson, of Hudson, and Jon Elizondo, a Stillwater resident.

They were joined by Oakdale resident Bernie Schmidt, who was participating in the annual event for the first time, despite physical pain.

But, he said, over the din of horns blowing in support of the patriotic gesture, “I figure if I can play golf for four hours, I can do this.”

The event, which has been running for several years, made a believer out of Houston, who took off work early to take part.

“I am sure I that I will be here for every year from now on,” she said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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