ST. IGNACE - Buoyed by widespread public support for its recent displays of a giant American flag, Michgian's landmark Mackinac Bridge will add 9/11 to the annual handful of days it unfurls the Stars and Stripes.
The decision was announced Thursday, said James Lake, communication representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation's north region.
Previously, the Bridge Authority had only planned to display the flag on five holidays each year, weather permitting: Memorial Day, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day.
Adding 9/11, also known as Patriot Day, means it will mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people and injured at least 6,000. It was also the single deadliest day for U.S. firefighters and law enforcement, with 415 fatalities.
The past Memorial Day was the first time motorists crossing the state's 5-mile bridge saw the 30-foot by 60-foot flag flying from its south tower. It created a social media buzz. A flurry of pictures were shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A July 4 display evoked a similar response.
The Mackinac Bridge Authority purchased the flag last fall, but weather at the bridge didn't allow for its display until this spring.