Spokane firefighter maintains 9/11 vigil

SPOKANE, Wash. - The image of the firefighters who raised the American flag at Ground Zero on 9/11 brought hope to many that we could move forward. Here in Spokane one local firefighter helps people remember by hoisting the flag every September 11.

If you've ever driven through Spokane on eastbound I-90 on the 9/11 anniversary, you may have noticed a man off to your right waving an American flag, but what you may not know, is why he does it.

September 11, 2001 was a day of infamy. To remember, and to remind, people of that day, Alex Mickschl spends the majority of the day each anniversary waving an American flag overlooking the freeway.

Alex Mickschl flag waving firefighter 9/11

"I started off doing this for my 343 brothers that died that day as well as all the other people that died that day," Mickschl said.

The honks and waves have kept him coming back to a ledge near Liberty Park on every anniversary. Tuesday was no different, with Mickschl heading out to his perch after getting off a 24-hour firefighting shift at 7:30 a.m.

"I'm just glad I get to be here and put a smile on somebody's face today," he said.

Before becoming a firefighter in 2000 Mickschl served in the military for four years. He was still pretty new on the job when 9/11 happened.

"I was pretty new on the job when this happened, and I didn't have the opportunity to travel over there to help at Ground Zero at any point. So I decided this was going to be what I was going to do."

What started as a normal day that Tuesday morning in September of 2001 ended changing our country forever. Mickschl maintains his vigil on that ledge every 9/11 to remind us of that day, and to be proud to be alive and proud to be an American.