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Pepperdine to Honor 9/11 Victims with 12th Annual Waves of Flags Display and Ceremony

Waves of Flags - Pepperdine UniversityPepperdine University will commemorate the lives lost in the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, during a memorial service at Alumni Park on Wednesday, September 11, at 8:30 AM. The service will honor those who still grieve and remember the heroes whose courageous acts prevented further loss of life during the historic tragedy. The ceremony, led by University chancellor Sara Young Jackson (’74), will also recognize the University’s annual Waves of Flags display at Alumni Park and include the planting of the final flag by American singer and longtime University friend Pat Boone.

The event will feature a scripture reading by Meredith McCune, president of the Seaver College Student Government Association, followed by a message from Jim Gash (JD '93), president of Pepperdine University. The ceremony will close with a benediction from Sharon Hargrave, executive director of the Boone Center for the Family.

“In commemorating 9/11, we seek to mourn the innocent lives lost, but also to be inspired by the heroism and selflessness that our fellow Americans demonstrated on that day,” says President Gash. “We hope that, even as they mourn and reflect on the lives lost, visitors to Waves of Flags will be inspired by the bravery and self-sacrifice of those heroes.”

For the 12th consecutive year, the Waves of Flags installation will pay tribute to the 2,977 lives lost in the 9/11 terror attacks. The installation features a display of 2,887 American flags for each American life lost and 90 international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad. The Waves of Flags installation 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, Waves of Flags has been a significant service project for the Pepperdine, Malibu, and Greater Los Angeles communities. On Saturday, September 7, 2019, a group of more than 200 volunteers, including Pepperdine faculty, staff, students, and Malibu community members, will join together to install and raise the flags as part of Step Forward Day, the University’s annual day of service.

Pepperdine is also the permanent home of Heroes Garden, a public space for visitors to reflect and 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 9/11 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.”

Waves of Flags is open to the public for viewing and visitation at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road until Wednesday, September 25, 2019