The National 9/11 Flag Stitching Ceremony at Montclair State University

Part of September 14th Constitution Day Commemoration

Destroyed in the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and stitched back together seven years later by tornado survivors in Greensburg, Kansas, the National 9/11 Flag will be the centerpiece of a day-long event to commemorate Constitution Day and to honor local service heroes at Montclair State University on September 14 beginning at 10 a.m.

Montclair State is the second stop on a tour planned for the National 9/11 Flag. The flag will make its way to all 50 states with Montclair State being the only university in the nation on the tour, and the only place in New Jersey where a flag-stitching ceremony will be held. Participants in the Montclair State ceremony will be helping to sew the New Jersey restorative patch onto the flag. Two New Jersey flags recently retired by Governor Chris Christie will be the source of the patches sewn onto the flag at the event.

The first stitches will be taken by New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow and Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. Joining them in the ceremony will be Harold Dinzes, a 93-year-old student (the oldest) at Montclair State and a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, and former New Jersey Assemblyman Ernest L. Oros. Assemblyman Oros served as a Corporal during World War II in the United States Marine Corps and was one of the first US forces to land at Nagasaki after the bombing.

Constitution Day is celebrated annually in recognition of the September 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution by the founding fathers. This year's commemoration at Montclair State will also feature expert panel discussions on the Constitution. Sponsored by the University's American Democracy Project, all the events are free and open to the public, and everyone is invited to join in.

As part of the 50-state National 9/11 Flag Tour, wounded warriors, military veterans, first responders, educators, students, community service heroes, and 9/11 family members will be able to participate in restoring the National 9/11 Flag back to its original format by stitching in fabric from American flags destined for retirement in all 50 states. The goal is to make the flag whole again by the 10th Year Anniversary of 9/11. Once complete, The National 9/11 Flag will become a part of the permanent collection of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum being built at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan.

Expert Panel Discussions on the Constitution
In addition to the flag-stitching ceremony, Constitution Day at Montclair State will also offer an educational component with leading experts discussing the U.S. Constitution in two successive panel discussions to be held in University Hall Room 1070 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Featuring U.S. District Court and New Jersey Superior Court judges, as well as Montclair State deans and faculty, the participants will discuss the Constitution's impact on judicial decisions being made today concerning important emerging issues and the relevant impact on our ever-changing national landscape.

Moderated by Montclair State University Professor of Political Science and Law Brigid Harrison, the discussion will also focus on how the panel participants-- all with diverse backgrounds -- consider the ways in which interpretations of the Constitution impact our lives and cultures. The public I invited to attend these discussions, but registration is suggested and available online at

The doors to the Montclair State Conference Center will open at 9:30 a.m. and all participants will be subject to a security check. Seating for the opening and flag-stitching ceremonies is limited so those wishing to attend should register online at The flag stitching will continue throughout the day ending at 9:00 p.m. with a closing ceremony. Parking will be available in the Red Hawk Deck. Visitors are advised to allow plenty of time to navigate around the campus and locate parking.

Released: September 9, 2010