Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 5, 2002
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Flag runner Keith Rumfelt, 18, was carrying an ordinary looking American flag, but it was very meaningful for the people of the Brooklyn Diocese.
The flag does not only represent their country. It also represents relatives, friends, next door neighbours, who suffered and died at the World Trade Centre during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
Brooklyn's Eileen Gaherty was given a flag by the U.S. government in recognition of her daughter Suzanne, who was one among the thousands of casualties at the Trade Center.
Eileen donated the flag to a group of young people from Brooklyn who attended the World Youth Day.
She wanted the flag to be unfurled and displayed at any place in Toronto where the pope was going to be.
Along with other flags (diocesan flag, papal flag, NYPD flag, and NY fire fighters) Gaherty's flag was unfurled and sometimes, Rumfelt would run with the flag attracting bearers of other national flags at World Youth Day to follow him.
Soon there was a circle of different national flags running around the Coliseum, the site of a catechesis that young people from Edmonton attended.
Brooklyn Diocese's Father Gerard Sauer told the WCR "These flags represent the tragic event of Sept. 11 as we carry the memory of those who have suffered and died for us, and those that continue to fight and serve our city."
Retired NYPD detective Paul Gasser said, "It is one of the little things that we can do to honour our fallen comrades.
"WYD has been awesome - just seeing all the young people and adults not afraid to show their faith as Roman Catholics."