Lawn display pays tribute to 9/11, fallen soldiers

·1 min read

Sep. 13—OTTUMWA — Dave Shaeffer wanted to find a way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

He did so, with the assistance of Wanetta Roemerman, with a simple lawn display at the apartment fourplex he is the landlord of in the 400 block of East Pennsylvania Avenue.

The display featured an American flag at half-staff, a silhouette of a kneeling soldier, a cross and 13 small American flags.

"Wanetta had the fallen soldier that a relative of hers had made. We wanted to put that up for 9/11 in memory of that day in our history," Shaeffer said. "I just thought, 'What else can we do for that day?'"

That's when he decided to put up the set of smaller flags. "It just dawned upon me with the 13 fallen soldiers, Americans, that we lost in Afghanistan, it would look nice to put 13 small flags out front," he said. "It was just a thought that came to me because I know our nation's saddened by the loss of 13 troops in Afghanistan."

By Monday, Shaeffer had returned the big flag to it's traditional position at the top of the pole. The rest of the display lingered a bit longer, though he said that he planned to take the rest down later Monday or early Tuesday.

— Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

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