TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Have you seen the photos and videos on Facebook from the Magic Valley 9/11 Memorial? They are spectacular. An enormous 11,800 square foot flag flying proudly high in the Snake River Canyon. Two Magic Valley women made that happen!
"We just really appreciate all the kind words, and the people sharing their photos, I cannot get enough of the photos coming in! The feeling is indescribable and truly overwhelming."
Larae Saufley and Angela Johnson brought this incredible 9/11 Tribute to the Snake River Canyon.
"This flag that hangs in our canyon is 400 pounds, it is about 80 feet by 150 feet, her name is Lady Liberty," said Johnson.
This all started three years ago, when Johnson had big dreams for the anniversary of September 11 in 2020.
"My dream was to see our community waving flags on both sides of the Perrine Bridge," said Johnson. "So I jumped on Amazon the next day, bought a bunch of flags. We kind of rolled with the event and it was very inspiring and powerful."
Saufley was there that day with her husband and kids, and she immediately knew she wanted to be a part of it.
"We need this, our community needs this and I asked her to be a part of my committee and she happily jumped on board and here we are, year three."
But this year they went big! They asked the nonprofit Follow the Flag to be a part of this year's 2022 memorial. They bring the largest flags to ever fly, to patriotic events around the country.
"They joined us this year and it's been incredible," said Johnson. "The flags are amazing and flags bring people together but this flag in this canyon with the bridge and everything... their team came in, they have been doing this for 8 years. Their mission is to honor, heal and inspire."
The team from Follow the Flag brought the enormous flag and hung it across the canyon. It was quite a feat, that took hours of planning and preparation work.
"They had team on the north side, one on the south side, one in the water," said Saufley. They actually use drones. It's very complicated a lot of different lines one at a time, a lot of manpower. They are all volunteers, a lot of them took PTO or their day off to come up here. Sunday was our big event where we did the unfurling of her and let everyone take it in."
The final result was absolutely breathtaking.
"I don't think there was a dry eye," said Saufley. "To see that many people! We have estimated three to four-thousand people that were here, and just to see them standing with their hands on their hearts and to feel that true spirit of America, it was totally worth it."
Johnson was overwhelmed by the emotion of it all, too.
"It's hard to describe but the feelings were real and powerful," said Johnson.
Saufley and Johnson are still over the moon about the success of the event, but they are already thinking about next year. The goal: to buy their own flag so this can happen every year.
"I think we can do it," said Saufley.
Fundraising for next year's event has already begun.
"We are just two moms, it doesn't take anyone with a high power or position. We want to inspire people to come together. That's what unifies us and makes us stronger."
Watch more '7's Hero'
See all of the heartwarming segments in our YouTube playlist here: