Grand Rapids (WZZM) - In a secluded spot on the campus of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids there are 2,996 American flags in the ground, one for each person who was killed in the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks.
A group of students at the school placed the flags to remember the day and honor the dead.
"Just keep it fresh in the mind," explains organizer Michael Couture. "This was a traumatic day in American history."
There are 3 distinct clusters of flags in the display. One for every location where people died.
"We made a twin towers," says Couture, pointing to flags arranged in two long columns. "Also a pentagon and we spelled out 'UA 93' for the United Airlines plane that crashed in Pennsylvania."
As they walk past the flags, many students stop and spend a few quiet moments.
"It's sad the tragedy had to happen," says student Sarah Andersen. "I think it's good the memory lives on and respect is shown to the people who lost their lives."
The flag display is the work of a group of military veterans now enrolled at Cornerstone University.
"This is why a lot of us joined the service," says Marine Corps veteran Nathanael Cropsey. "I was in my early teenage years when this happened and it really stuck in my mind. When I became of age I joined the Marine Corps."
Many Cornerstone students, especially freshmen, are too young to remember the panic and confusion that day.
"7th grade, weren't old enough to remember the event," says Couture. "It was a sad day and we should always remember those families that were hurt."