After school on
Tuesday, Sept. 10, Chesterton High School (CHS) staff and student
volunteers, under the direction of CHS support staff member Mary Beth
Whitmer, continued the tradition the O'Keefe family began in 2007 of placing
2,977 small U.S. flags in the grassy area in front of the CHS Stadium along
11th St. in Chesterton. Each flag bears the name of a soul lost 18 years ago
in the tragic attacks on America. The flags will be on display until the end
of the day on Wednesday, Sept. 11.
The school has
started placing the flags on the afternoon the day before so that there are
plenty of volunteers to help with placement of the 2,977 individual flags.
Students and members of the CHS staff realize the importance of continuing
this tradition in our community. Students from several student organizations
and other students were there to help on Tuesday.
History of the
(2008 CHS Grad) initiated the first commemoration. At the time she was a
charter member of the CHS Conservative Club and was assisted in part by her
sister Colleen O’Keefe (2011 CHS Grad) and several other volunteers.
Together they approached businesses and individuals to donate money to
purchase the flags and secured permission from school administration.
Colleen continued the tradition, coordinating volunteers and working with
the school planning the event. In 2012, their sister, Kasey O’Keefe (2015
CHS Grad) began coordinating the event, approaching students and faculty for
volunteers, gaining administration permission and serving as public
relations officer. Several volunteers gave their time and energy to this
memorial, including sister Hayley O’Keefe. Hayley continued the tradition
until 2016 when she also graduated from CHS.