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Pepperdine University Honors 9/11 Victims with 13th Annual Waves of Flags Display

September 8, 2020  | 2 min read

Waves of Flags - Pepperdine UniversityFor the 13th consecutive year, Pepperdine University will commemorate the lives lost in the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, with the Waves of Flags display at Alumni Park on the Malibu campus. In compliance with guidance provided by Los Angeles County due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the display will be closed to the public, including members of the Pepperdine community. 

An online service to honor those who perished in the historic tragedy led by Pepperdine president Jim Gash (JD ’93) and University chancellor Sara Young Jackson (’74) will be held via Livestream on the 9/11 Memorial Service website at 10 AM on Friday, September 11, 2020.

Waves of Flags commemorates the 2,977 lives lost in the September 11 terror attacks and features a vast display of American flags for each American life lost as well as international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad. Made possible through the support of donors this year, the installation will be on display at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road from Wednesday, September 9, 2020, through Monday, September 21, 2020. 

“Pepperdine has a long tradition of honoring those who have gone before us,” said Pepperdine president Jim Gash (JD ’93). “For nearly two decades, this community has paused on this day each year to remember, to grieve, and to celebrate the lives of those we lost on that day in 2001.”

Waves of Flags became a University tradition in 2008 when the Pepperdine College Republicans, inspired by a similar display, wanted to bring the tribute to the University. For more than a decade, it has been a significant project that has united the Pepperdine, Malibu, and Greater Los Angeles communities in service. Due to the pandemic, the installation of the flags, which is typically led by Pepperdine community members and volunteers from the Malibu community, was executed by the University this year in consideration of the safety of local and surrounding communities.

In addition to the Waves of Flags installation, Pepperdine is the permanent home of the Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., Heroes Garden, a place to honor all those who live heroic lives, including Pepperdine alumnus Thomas E. Burnett, Jr. (MBA ’95), a passenger on United Flight 93, whose life was cut short in the September 11 attacks. The garden's plaque reads: “Dedicated to freedom's heroes of September 11, 2001, and the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, among them Pepperdine alumnus Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., who sacrificed their lives to overcome terrorists’ intent on destroying American lives and landmarks in our nation's capital. We shall never forget.” Heroes Garden is currently closed to the public, along with the rest of the Pepperdine campus.