A 9/11 tradition: Great Barrington man plants flags for fallen heroes

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Donald Barrington says he still gets choked up this time every year.

It is the season of grief when he plants hundreds of American flags in town to honor the firefighters and police who died responding to the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks in New York.

"Those guys never knew what to expect that day," he said, carting more flags out to his lawn on Stockbridge Road, where they will total about 250 when he is all done.

He has been doing it every year since 2002, also the year his mother died Sept. 14. Quietly, he says the word "special."

Barrington, 66, who works in the bakery at the Big Y supermarket, plants a flag for each first responder who died in the attacks: 343 flags for the firefighters, installed at the fire station, and 71 for police, on the lawn at the police station.

He wants to do more.

"I haven't done anything for the civilians yet," he said.

He was thinking that the hill at Monument Mountain Regional High School could be a good place to mark those deaths. It would take more than 2,000 flags, and a lot of getting choked up. But he says he wants to; maybe next year.

Heather Bellow can be reached at hbellow@berkshireeagle.com or on Twitter at BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.

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