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Tempe Healing Field Honoring Victims Of 9/11

Near Tempe Beach Park, there are thousands of flags planted with accompanying pairs of boots.

The patriotic display is there to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The 3,000 flags and boots are a tribute to the lives lost 17 years ago, and the scene is striking to Tempe resident Cathy Comer.

“We come out every year. It’s incredible. It’s very heartwarming. I don’t know, I’m getting all choked up.”

The annual 9/11 Healing Field is now in its 15th year and is organized by hundreds of volunteers and The Exchange Club of Tempe.

Nick Bastian is chair of the committee. He says a lot of forethought goes in to the display, which has a victim’s name attached to each flag.

“It’s a memorial. It’s a way for people to reflect and to honor those we’ve lost," Bastian said. "On the main field, we have people that died in the Twin Towers, and then surrounding the field we have people that were lost on flight crews and the Pentagon."

The day's events includes a service to mark the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

That will be followed by a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night at Tempe Beach Park.

Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.