March 24, 2009
A year after the 9/11 attacks, Aaron Fein noticed the American flag decals on cars starting to fade. To him, it was like watching the permanent colors of the flag disappearing, just as he thought the World Trade Center would always be a permanent building. That idea was the start of a project for him; a project that he started a few years ago, that will take him years to finish.
He has taken on the task of sewing and embroidering all 192 flags of the United Nations. However, each flag will be made out of the same white fabric and white thread.
"To me it really is an equalizer," said the artist, Aaron Fein. "It basically says we are all the same. No matter what, the symbols that we use to create an identity for ourselves, that's part of the project. The identities are visible in here. They don't go away. They just change with the light."
Right now, Fein has 17 of the 192 flags completed. They are on display through Easter at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Rugby Road.
Fein said this project is about recognizing our differences, but in the end, realizing we're one. That hit home for Barb Pemberton of Albemarle County, whose sister, Susan, was killed in the World Trade Center.
"So many people have gotten to the point where it's just a fading event in their minds," said Pemberton. "I don't think we can ever forget. I'm just pleased that such a beautiful, beautiful piece of art now has been put together with these different flags."
Pemberton said the artwork brings her peace and hope. She also said a great place to see it, in its completion, would be in New York on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
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