It’s a stunning photo from Sept. 11, 2022 — an enormous American flag flying in the Snake River Canyon near the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls. While the Stars and Stripes draw the eye, there’s also an Air St. Luke’s helicopter in view, and those onboard had a view they’ll remember forever.
“We were coming back from Boise, so we got some good views of the flag from a few miles away and at first, we were surprised at how small the flag looked,” said Isaac Baker, a paramedic onboard the helicopter that day.
“We realized as we got closer that the flag only looked small compared to the size of our canyon and the bridge.”
Named “Lady Liberty,” the American flag that flew in the Snake River Canyon measures 150 feet by 78 feet and weighs 400 pounds. It was brought to Twin Falls by Follow the Flag, a nonprofit organization, as part of the Magic Valley 9/11 Memorial.
“It was an honor and blessing to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly next to this massive flag that represented 9/11 and those who were killed and sacrificed themselves to help others,” said Cheryl Bice, an air transport nurse who viewed Lady Liberty from the Air St. Luke’s helicopter pictured in Jody Revai’s photo.
“It was a bit surreal for me. We sometimes forget the magnitude of this job, until we are humbled by acknowledging those who lost their lives helping others.”
Revai is a commercial photographer by trade and a nature and landscape photographer by hobby.
“I have been doing photography off and on for over 15 years,” Revai said. “I was helping with the event when I took the picture. Should anybody wish to purchase a copy, the print rights have been donated to the Magic Valley 9/11 Memorial and they can contact them to order.”
Baker, the paramedic onboard, added: “Flying next to the flag and getting to see all the people there was a bucket list experience that I didn't know I wanted. 9/11 is obviously a day that we will never forget, and we are proud to serve such an awesome community.”
The Snake River Canyon was the sixth canyon and biggest flag rigging challenge that the Follow the Flag team has faced, according to the organization. The team was assisted by volunteers from Twin Falls City Hall, the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office and Magic Valley Paramedics SORT team, among others. The flag flew near the Perrine Bridge from the afternoon of Sept. 10 through the early morning hours of Sept. 17.
Larae Saufley is one of the cofounders of the Magic Valley 9/11 Memorial who worked to bring the giant flag to Twin Falls. She said the community’s response was even better than she could have imagined.
“I think everyone just needed to feel that unity,” she said. She’s already looking forward to next year’s 9/11 Memorial and urges others in the Magic Valley to get involved by volunteering their time and talents.
Kelly Franson is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.