Every year in September, I remember the attack on our country that we now speak of as "9/11." Remembering that time brings back many images to me.

Every year in September, I remember the attack on our country that we now speak of as "9/11." Remembering that time brings back many images to me.
I had a sister who lived in California and a few years before, Russell and I had gone to see her. While we were there, she mentioned that because she had always lived away from most of the family, not many would come to her funeral. At that time, I made her a promise that I would come to her funeral, no matter what.
She died on Sept. 10, 2001. Russell and I started making plans to fly to California for her funeral. The following morning was the attack and all planes were grounded.
We talked about what to do, and then decided to drive to California because I was determined to be there. I will never forget that ride. All the way from Southwest Missouri to California and back, we saw American flags. There were thousands of flags of every size. In towns and cities, flags hung from bridges, from every front porch, from huge building downtown and any place they would mount a flag.
All along the roadside, on farms and ranches, the American flag flew, in pastures, on barns, on gatepost, on tall silos and every other place they could find to plant a flag.
On the road, every car had a flag somewhere. Truckers had them mounted on their vehicles, and had flag images were stuck to their windows and doors. Many of these flag stickers were obviously new. Truck stops and gas stations were selling everything they had that had a flag on it.
Even out on the wild, rugged and lonely deserts there were flags. People had just stuck them in the ground out in the middle of nowhere. I distinctly remember a pile of sand and rock about four feet tall. It looked like someone had dumped a load of sand or debris out of a truck and just left it there.
And yes, there at the top of that pile was Old Glory.
As we rode along in the car, we constantly monitored all the news, eager to learn anything about the attacks. At every gas station and cafe, the attack was all the talk as we made our way across the Western United States.
Many places such as Hoover Dam were closed since it was thought that large dams would likely be targets for terrorists.
I had never seen anything like it before, and nothing even close since. But I think that trip caused me to be more patriotic, to be more proud of the American people, and more proud of our national flag.
I still love to see the flag flying. I sometime count the number of flags that I see when we go somewhere. How many flags are between here and Joplin? How many on the way to Newtonia? How many are between Neosho and Seneca?
No matter the count, I cherish every one.

Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.