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



For the 13th year, Pepperdine University will again honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, with its annual Waves of Flags display. In compliance with guidance provided by Los Angeles County due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the display will be closed to the public.

The installation commemorates the 2,977 lives lost in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, featuring a vast display of American flags as well as international flags representing the home countries of those from abroad. The display, this year made possible by many generous donors, will once again be located on Alumni Park at Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus (24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263). The flags will be displayed at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road from Wednesday, September 9, 2020, through Monday, September 21, 2020.

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, Waves of Flags has been a significant service project for the Pepperdine, Malibu, and Greater Los Angeles communities. Due to the pandemic,the installation of the flags, which is typically done by Pepperdine community members and volunteers from the greater Malibu community, will be executed by the University this year, and no volunteers will be allowed

“Pepperdine has a long tradition of honoring those who have gone before us,” said Pepperdine University president Jim Gash about the display. "For nearly two decades now, 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.”

This year, an online service honoring the lives lost and heroic sacrifices made on September 11, 2001 will be held via Livestream on Friday, September 11, 2020, at 10 AM. The event will be led by President Gash and University chancellor Sara Young Jackson.

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 along with the rest of the Pepperdine campus.

Summation of COVID-19 Measures

In compliance with local and state COVID-19 protocols, the Waves of Flags display is closed to the public, including members of the Pepperdine community. The display’s perimeter will have signs communicating the closure and the University’s Department of Public Safety will be monitoring the display to enforce COVID-19 protocols. No volunteers will be allowed to assist with the flag installation or removal, and Heroes Garden, along with the rest of the Pepperdine campus, will not be accessible to the public.


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