Lee Ielpi at 9/11 Tribute Center adds his hand print to the Flag for Hope Project.
Lee Ielpi at the 9/11 Tribute Center meets the meet the Flag for Hope team. The following excerpt from the 9/11 Tribute Center website will help readers understand why we asked Lee to be a Star on the Flag. “On September 11, 2001, Lee arrived at the World Trade Center within a half hour of the second collapse and assisted to organize operations until midnight of that evening. Lee returned to Ground Zero daily to assist organization of the rescue operations. Upon the third week, the rescue operations were reclassified by the City of New York as a recovery operation. As is tradition within the FDNY, Lee worked hands on daily for nine months to bring home all that were lost, including his son Jonathan Ielpi, FDNY Squad 288.”
Lee currently serves on the 9/11 Tribute Center Board of Directors. The 9/11 Tribute Center is a project of the September 11th Families’ Association which brings together those who want to learn about 9/11 with those who experienced it first hand.
9/11 Tribute Center Mission
The 9/11 Tribute Center invites visitors to share personal stories of the 9/11 community — family members who lost loved ones, survivors, first responders, rescue workers, civilian volunteers, and community residents whose healing is a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit. The Center provides meaningful understanding of the loss and impact of 9/11 while “inspiring the power of resilience and recovery.”
Lee Ielpi is a native of Great Neck, NY where he resides today with his family. Lee is a father of two girls and two boys. Both sons are firefighters with the FDNY. Lee became a volunteer with his local Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department in 1963 where he rose through the ranks to become Chief of the Department. Lee continues to serve as an active member of the Vigilant Fire Department.
In 1968, Lee was drafted and served in the US Army in Vietnam. While serving, he volunteered to be deployed under the Reconnaissance Unit with the Second of the 28 Infantry, First Infantry Division. While serving Lee earned a Bronze Star for Valor and two ARCOM medals for Valor in addition to being decorated with a Combat Infantry Man’s Badge and Air Medals. Lee’s first child was born while he was serving in Vietnam in 1970.Lee Ielpi joined the New York City Fire Department in September 1970.
We would like to personally thank Lee, the 9/11 families that added their painted hand impressions on the Flag for Hope and everyone that helped us to understand the gravity of this tragic event, the resilience of the American people and that the heroes of 9/11 are not only those that have fallen, but also the family members that continue to remind us that Freedom is not Free.
We thank you, we remember you and we support you as we commemorate America’s ability to unite, persevere and work together towards a common vision.
What is Flag for Hope?
The Flag for Hope Project was started to help promote Unity and Peace among all Americans.
The Flag symbolically represents thousands of Americans holding hands without conflict or hatred. We are all one country and one people. The Flag for Hope is NOT political. It is about patriotism and coming together as a country. NOW IS THE TIME!!!
The Flag Project is also about honor and respect for the men and women that have proudly worn a United States military uniform and fought for our freedoms. Flag for Hope is a reminder that Freedom Isn’t Free. Many have sacrificed for the privileges that we all have today. This Flag signifies appreciation and gratitude for those individuals who serve in our communities like teachers, police, fire, doctors and nurses. It calls us to remember all Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of both foreign and domestic enemy attacks. If an American is harmed ANYWHERE, we all suffer and mourn.
The team is led by U.S. Army veteran Marcos Antonio. This epic mission was started at the Indianapolis 500 on May 23, 2015. Our goal is to collect approximately 3,000 – 4,000 American hand and finger impressions on a giant canvas to create the United States of America National Flag. We will accomplish this by going to over a 150 cities and roughly 300 – 400 locations. Each participant will place their impression on the flag in either red, white, or blue paint. There will be 50 American Olympians that put their impression on the flag representing the 50 states and showing the solidarity of the entire nation.
Lastly, the 50 stars on the flag will be iconic Americans that have greatly contributed to the strength and well being of our country. These individuals have inspired, empowered, and encouraged their fellow citizens through their actions as pioneers, role models, and leaders in our society. They come from all backgrounds and embody the essence of the American spirit.
This historic project has never been attempted before and we will finish when every last American can fill the limited space on our 9×5 canvas panel. Finally, the Flag for Hope will be donated to a national museum like the Smithsonian for all Americans to view for generations to come.
Thank you for visiting Flag for Hope. Take a few minutes and click through the site, take a look at where we’ve been then take a second and share us by clicking on your favorite social media icon below. Share the Flag for Hope movement of Peace and Unity!